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June 18th, 2013
06:23 PM ET

Analysis: No incentive for GOP to vote for immigration reform

In an unaired, unedited portion of an interview with ABC News' George Stephanopoulos, Speaker of the House John Boehner patted himself on the back a little for allowing bills to pass the House, without a majority of Republicans backing them.

"There are some bills that have passed with a majority of Democrats in favor, and a minority of Republicans ... and I've been criticized for it," said Boehner.

"My job as Speaker is to ensure all members on both sides have a fair shot," said Boehner. When pressed by Stephanopoulos if that includes putting on the floor a bill that will get more support from Democrats than Republicans, Boehner said, "We'll let the House work its will."

But on Tuesday the Speaker said, "Any immigration reform bill that's gonna go into law ought to have a majority of both parties support, if we're really serious about making that happen."

Boehner's office insists this is not a flip-flop, he's merely taking a "firmer stance" on his preference to have majority Republican support.

National editor for The Cook Political Report Amy Walter says the bottom line on immigration reform for Republicans is, where's the incentive?

"For these House Republicans there is very little incentive to vote for something," said Walter. Republicans up for re-election will face primary challenges if they sit in Republican districts, and almost all of them do, added Walter.

"The average Republican district right now is 75% white, there are nine Republicans in the House who represent a majority-minority district," said Walter. "Even those ones that ... sit in districts that have a significant Latino population, they're also very Republican districts."

"What we're seeing is sausage making," said CNN contributor and Republican strategist Ana Navarro. "All of those that think the immigration bill is dead, no it's not, it's chugging along."

CNN Contributor and former adviser to the Obama Administration Van Jones said he feels sorry for Boehner, who he describes as being stuck in the middle.

"You do have these Republicans who are saying to themselves, 'Are you asking me to commit suicide twice?'" said Jones, who said Republicans from red states will face consequences in upcoming re-elections whether they vote for, or against the bill.

"At the same time, there are 80 purple district Republicans who need this issue to go away," said Jones.

Check out our politics panel's full discussion in the video above.

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