Revolt Among Republicans on Immigration Bill: 70 House Members Risk Careers in Planned Showdown With Leadership

Seventy House Republicans are planning a politically risky showdown with Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) to try to force additional debate on an immigration bill they say will mean amnesty for illegal immigrants and have dire consequences for the country.

The 70 members are petitioning for a special Republican conference meeting on the bill, a “highly unusual” move to go head-to-head with the speaker, according to Reps. Michele Bachmann (Minn.), Steve King (Iowa) and Louie Gohmert (Texas), who are serving as spokespersons for the group.

Bachmann, King and Gohmert told TheBlaze the group is invoking the Hastert Rule: requiring support from a majority of the majority to bring a bill forward.

The petition is expected to go to the House leadership on Friday, but it’s possible some signatories might remove their names due to political risk, or that Boehner could head off the challenge by striking a deal. Going against leadership in such a way could have harsh political consequences for the signatories, including retaliation such as permanently getting passed over for chairmanship positions.

A Boehner spokesman did not immediately return a request for comment.

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