Senators decry latest immigration-reform snag

February 11, 2014

us congressAZ Central, 2/8/14

Arizona’s U.S. Sens. John McCain and Jeff Flake are lamenting U.S. House Speaker John Boehner’s surprise decision to back off immigration reform. Boehner, R-Ohio, generally is viewed as a reform supporter. Late last month, he and other House Republican leaders released a one-page set of standards to guide GOP lawmakers on the issue.

But Thursday he abruptly doused expectations by saying a widespread lack of trust in President Barack Obama to enforce any new immigration laws made legislation unlikely. Boehner also is under pressure from conservative hard-liners in the House Republican Conference who oppose policies that they characterize as providing “amnesty” for immigrants who are in the United States without authorization.

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Immigration Reform 2013: Conservatives Convinced Boehner Ready To Sell Out After Budget Deal

December 16, 2013

International Business Times, 12/13/2013

immigration marchA budget deal brokered by House Republicans and Senate Democrats is being viewed by proponents of comprehensive immigration reform as a positive sign of things to come next year. The two-year budget deal agreed to by Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., is already being praised by Congressman Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill., a champion of immigration reform, who said it will take leaders’ commitment and willingness to compromise to pass an immigration bill.

The two budget leaders went to a conference in October to find common ground. Gutierrez believes that in similar fashion, House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., should appoint a team to spearhead the 2013 immigration reform effort. With fiscal crises such as a government shutdown off their hands for the next two years, Gutierrez said the way is clear for lawmakers to focus on other issues like the economy, immigration reform and gun violence.

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Republicans eye immigration reform after budget deal exposes party rift

December 16, 2013

The Guardian, 12/13/2013

Photo by J Scott Applewhite (AP)Immigration reform has emerged as the next Republican battleground after a high-profile split between party leaders and the Tea Party over budget compromise led to growing expectation of a similar bipartisan deal to legalise America’s 11 million undocumented migrants.

House speaker John Boehner signalled a major break from right-wing conservatives on Thursday when he accused activist groups of losing “all credibility” by opposing his efforts to reach a deal with Democrats over the $1tn federal budget. Heritage Action, a group behind many Tea Party Republicans, issued a testy response on Friday, claiming Boehner was trying to clear the way for immigration reform next year by severing his links with opponents on the right of the party.

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House Republican Shames GOP Members On Stalled Immigration Reform

November 15, 2013

The Huffington Post, 11/14/2013

capitolRep. Jeff Denham (R-Calif.), who was the first GOP House member to sign on to a Democrat-led comprehensive immigration reform bill, said Thursday that the effort shouldn’t be declared dead yet.

In fact, he said, three additional members from both parties will announce their support for that bill in the next couple of days, with more to come next week. At the same time, he and five other Republicans are talking to fellow GOP members to get 40 to 45 more to sign a letter supporting immigration reform in general.

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Op Ed: House GOP Needs to Put up or Shut up on Immigration Reform

November 13, 2013

The Huffington Post, 11/12/13

By David Leopold

Hundreds of thousands of immigrants 2 participate in march for Immigrants and Mexicans protesting against Illegal Immigration reform by U.S. Congress, Los Angeles, CA, May 1, 2006There is a reason the twitter hashtag #TimeIsNow caught on. The time really is now for Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and the House Republican leadership to allow a vote on a bipartisan immigration reform bill.  It’s been 5 long months since the Senate passed such a bill, and sent it over to the House for consideration.

But it’s been one excuse after another from the House GOP leadership.  First it was the Tea Party-manufactured fiscal crisis which consumed most of September and closed the government for the first two weeks of October.  Now the House GOP leadership — including even some like Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) who has worked to draft a bipartisan immigration bill — claim that time has run out this year on immigration reform; that the GOP leadership cannot possibly schedule a vote on a bipartisan bill because there are not enough days in the legislative calendar.

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Obama: House has votes to pass immigration reform

November 6, 2013

CBS News, 11/5/2013

Barack_Obama_being_briefed_on_swine_flu_oubreak_4-29In a meeting with business leaders to discuss immigration reform, President Obama predicted that there are enough votes in the House to pass the contentious issue.

“Although right now there’s been some resistance from House Republicans, what’s been encouraging is that there are a number of House Republicans who have said we think this is the right thing to do as well,” Mr. Obama said Tuesday at the White House. “It’s my estimation that we actually have the votes to get comprehensive immigration reform done in the House right now. The politics are challenging for [Speaker Boehner] and others, and we want to make it as easy for them as possible. This is not an issue where we’re looking for a political win, this is one where we’re looking for a substantive win for the U.S. economy and the American people and the businesses that are represented here.”

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Pelosi: Votes are there to pass immigration reform

October 30, 2013

Nancy Pelosi

The Washington Times, 10/29/2013

Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said Tuesday  there  is a bipartisan majority in the House  of Representatives ready to pass a  comprehensive immigration overhaul  bill, but she may never get the  chance to prove it if GOP Speaker John A. Boehner doesn’t bring a  vote in the Republican-lead House.

“With 28 Republicans having publicly expressed support for a path  to  citizenship, we believe the votes are there on a bipartisan basis to  pass a  bill,” she wrote on Facebook. “It’s just a  question whether Speaker Boehner can  muster the will to schedule a vote.”

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Immigration reform is on life support, but it isn’t dead yet

September 25, 2013

The Washington Post, 9/25/2013

Hundreds of thousands of immigrants 2 participate in march for Immigrants and Mexicans protesting against Illegal Immigration reform by U.S. Congress, Los Angeles, CA, May 1, 2006Yes, the House “gang of seven” plan fell apart. Yes, Nancy Pelosi’s plan to introduce a version of the Senate bill in the House probably won’t get any significant House GOP support. But proponents and opponents alike are now focused on the fact that GOP Rep. Bob Goodlatte — a key player as chair of the Judiciary Committee — has now said he intends to move proposals forward this fall, while John Boehner has reportedly said the issue remains on the GOP agenda. Goodlatte has long said he could support legalization for the 11 million with no “special pathway to citizenship,” plus citizenship for the DREAMers. But can Dems and immigration reform advocates accept such an outcome?

There are scenarios under which they actually could. There is a roadmap which rarely gets discussed publicly, but it looks something like this:

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Can immigration reform pass the House? Maybe.

July 9, 2013

white house thumbThe Washington Post, 7/8/2013

Is immigration reform doomed in the House? Reform advocates and Democrats on the Hill are not ready to give up just yet, and they are quietly circulating a new memo that details a list of House Republicans they believe may — may — be gettable in support of reform. The list and memo, which you can check out right here, is meant as a very broad, and admittedly optimistic, look at the full range of House Republicans whose support should not be completely ruled out just yet.

The idea here is that if Speaker John Boehner does, in the end, allow a vote on the Senate bill, or something else that does contain a path to citizenship, you would need only a few dozen House Republicans to support it for it to pass, since most House Dems would vote for it. Boehner has publicly ruled that out, but there are some grounds for doubting whether a decision has actually been made. From the memo: If there is a vote on comprehensive immigration reform with a path to citizenship in the House, it will pass with a bipartisan majority. If all but a handful of the House Democrats vote yes, and at least 20 Republicans from the list below come along, reform can easily clear the 218 necessary to pass the lower chamber. Looking at the list of 99 House Republicans below, it’s clear that capturing those 20 or so Republican votes is well within reach.

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Despite Early Successes, Immigration Bill Faces Uncertain Path Forward

May 31, 2013

immigration marchTIME, 5/31/2013

Success is rare enough in the Senate that a taste of it can make even the most seasoned legislators a little cocky. The week after supporters of immigration reform steered their bipartisan bill through the Senate Judiciary Committee, Majority Leader Harry Reid suggested the package would sail through the Senate when it hits the floor next month. “It’s certainly going to pass the Senate,” he said. “The Republicans can no longer stop this.”

Rounding up a filibuster-proof 60 votes may prove tougher than Reid anticipates; allies say they’re not there yet. But even if Senate Republicans can’t scupper the bill, their counterparts in the GOP-controlled House can. And they won’t go gently. When the Senate committee debating the legislation sent it to the floor largely unscathed, House Republican leaders marked the occasion by dashing any emerging hopes that overhauling the broken U.S. immigration system might be easier than expected. “We will not simply take up and accept a bill that is emerging in the Senate if it passes,” wrote a passel of House leaders, headed by Speaker John Boehner. “Rather, through regular order, the House will work its will and produce its own legislation.”

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