Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
July 31, 2014

Boehner’s New Immigration Policy Director Has Deep Experience on Overhaul Efforts

Speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, is taking on a new and formidable immigration policy director, a sign that he could be more serious about passing immigration legislation than his critics suggest.

Rebecca Tallent, who currently serves as director of immigration policy at the Bipartisan Policy Center, will join Boehner’s staff on Wednesday. Before joining the BPC, Tallent held several senior staff positions with Sen. John McCain, including chief of staff.

During her time with McCain, she helped the Arizona Republican draft a handful of immigration overhaul measures, including the last big push McCain made with the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., in 2007. In 2008, she was a policy adviser on McCain’s presidential campaign. Before working for McCain, she worked for former Rep. Jim Kolbe, R-Ariz., a longtime advocate of overhauling the immigration system who was involved in immigration efforts before he retired in 2006.

The BPC, the nonpartisan think tank established by four former Senate majority leaders — Howard Baker, R-Tenn., Tom Daschle, D-S.D., Bob Dole, R -Kan. and George Mitchell, D-Maine — announced her departure on Tuesday afternoon, beating Boehner’s office to the punch by several minutes.

The BPC release heralded Talent’s new job as one that “signals new momentum for immigration reform.”

“Speaker Boehner could not have chosen a better person to help House leadership develop effective immigration reform legislation,” Haley Barbour, the former Republican governor of Mississippi who is co-chairman of BPC’s immigration task-force, said in a statement.

“She will be a crucial resource in crafting legislation that can pass the House and be signed by the president,” added BPC President Jason Grumet.

Boehner did not announce Tallent’s arrival with similar pomp and circumstance, instead including her name at the end of a long list of staff changes in the speaker’s office.

But Boehner spokesman Michael Steel did not seek to underplay the significance.

“The Speaker remains hopeful that we can enact step-by-step, common-sense immigration reforms — the kind of reforms the American people understand and support,” Steel said in a statement to CQ Roll Call. “Becky Tallent, a well-known expert in this field of public policy, is a great addition to our team and that effort.”

  • Jerry Crowe

    Boehner is a trader. Enforce the laws we have.

  • Ed Burns

    We all know that he is a traitor and as much as he would like us to believe that he is a conservative repub, he is just like McConnell, a wolf in sheeps clothing demorat!

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  • hairyputter

    If we are going to overhaul the immigration laws of the county, do it for the total immigration issue, not just to appease one or two lobby groups. Agreed that our immigration laws are a farce, but so are the amnesty pushes that are currently being discussed. We gave illegals amnesty back in the Kennedy times and what did it accomplish, other than more illegals entering the country?

  • RCQ_92130

    And the amnesty pigs come snortin’ out of their sty, ready for the slop.

    • dectra

      And what EXACTLY is your solution, RCQ?

      Do Nothing?

      or are you one of those closet Nazi’s who thinks we can round up 6 Million People and ‘deport’ them like Hitler did?

      • 0bamasnought

        We could always enforce the laws.
        Even Europe, and now the House of Saud, are enforcing their laws.
        Why do you hate laws so much?

      • RCQ_92130

        No, Numbnutz. Like Harry S. Truman, President of the United States of America, did after WW2 – when 15 million Mexicans were sent back to their homes so returning Veterans would have jobs when they returned from defending our nation. Or did you, in your miniscule-I.Q. blather, think those Veterans should have gone WITHOUT jobs???

        ps: Hitler’s senior command, like you, were overwhelmingly homosexual. I guess all that bath house stuff clogs the synapses so ‘thinking’ becomes really, really difficult. Is that correct?

  • Mojojojo

    Seriously? All Boehner has to do is hire some rando who doesn’t hate Latinos as much as conservatives, and the right-wing media douses him in centrist cred?

    You’re rewarding the bagger extremism, Roll Call! Have some impartiality!

  • Socialism: Organized Evil

    Considering that public opinion is susceptible to being hijacked by those who harbor nefarious intentions, we should remember that majority decisions cannot guarantee morality, liberty, or prosperity.

  • eaglechick

    She worked for John McCain, king of amnesty..nuff said.

    • 0bamasnought

      And the only thing the ‘Bipartisan Policy Center’ espouses is; Surrender.
      I’d rather see 5 years of enforcement first.

  • dectra

    Boehner is a Coward; He’s not willing to stand up to the TBag Terrorist in his own caucus.

    He couldn’t pass wind…..much less an actual immigration bill.

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