While all the focus for the last few weeks has been on the Senate bill, the House Gang of Eight has been quietly working on its own immigration plan and there could be some important differences. One relates to the path to citizenship. The House plan could take as long as 20 years while the Senate's is 13 years. The House apparently would impose a benchmark on security that must be met before a guest worker program and the legalization program could be fully implemented.


Another question that must be resolved in the House is how the bill will proceed. The Judiciary, Homeland Security and Education committees all have jurisdiction over certain aspects of the bill. But there is concern that if Judiciary gets full responsibility, some hardliners on that committee could try and derail the bill. That's why Chairman Goodlatte's shift to a more moderate position in the last few months has been important in allaying some fears about Judiciary getting to mark up the bill. But it is still not clear that there are enough moderate Republicans plus the Democrats on the Judiciary Committee to get a bill reasonably similar to the Senate bill through to the floor.


Politico reports another possibility - that there will be an informal process of House Republicans working out language of a bill outside the Judiciary Committee and bringing it up directly for a floor debate. Chairman Goodlatte has been working behind the scenes in the House to avoid this and have a regular legislative markup.