The Republican-led House could start working on immigration bills focused on border security on the floor in July, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said in a memo to colleagues sent Friday…
But much of how the House moves forward on immigration reform will depend on the feedback that leadership gets from a conference-wide meeting this Wednesday — which Cantor alluded to in his memo.
“I look forward to our special conference on July 10th on how to fix … our broken immigration system,” Cantor wrote.
House lawmakers already are hearing conservative calls to slow things down. And if the debate leaks into August — when Congress takes a nearly month-long recess — the prospects could get even more wobbly. The Tea Party, during the 2009 August recess, famously helped stall ObamaCare by storming town hall meetings and other events.
Tea Party groups may be preparing to again mount demonstrations during the summer break. And even if the House passes a bill this month, it’s unlikely the two chambers would be able to agree on a unified piece of legislation by August — leaving the work unfinished going into recess.
While Tea Partiers await that opening, they’re already beginning to stir the pot.
“I think it’s very important to fix a broken system, to treat people with respect, and have confidence in our capacity to assimilate people,” Bush said, in an interview with Jonathan Karl. “It’s a very difficult bill to pass because there’s a lot of moving parts. And the legislative process can be ugly. But it looks like they’re making some progress.”
He also expressed hope that House Republicans will pass a similar bill. “Sometimes, it takes time for some of these complex issues to evolve,” he said. “It looks like immigration [reform] has a chance to pass.”
“The reason to pass immigration reform is not to bolster the Republican party, it’s to fix a system that’s broken,” he added. “Good policy yields good politics as far as I’m concerned.”
Passing a bad immigration reform bill could politically damage the GOP, one prominent Hispanic Republican said Sunday morning.
“If we don’t do it right, politically it’s going to be the death of the Republican Party,” Rep. Raul Labrador (R-Idaho), a leading GOP voice on immigration reform, said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”…
“If we do it right I think it’s going to be good for us,” Labrador said on Meet the Press. “But if we don’t do it right what’s going to happen is we’re going to lose our base because we’re still going to have a large number of illegal immigrants coming into the United States, and the Hispanic community is not going to listen to us because they’re going to always listen at this point to the people that are offering more, that are offering a faster pathway to citizenship.
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) is on a collision course with House conservatives over immigration reform…
Some political observers believe it’s just a matter of time before McCain aggressively goes after House GOP members for not voting on the Senate-passed immigration measure…
“Most of what [McCain] will do, in my anticipation is through the media. … He likes to drop a little bomb and watch how people will react, and he’ll do it again,” King said in an interview with The Hill.
King said McCain “should have learned his lesson” when he tried to pass immigration reform with the late Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.).
“What the Senate just passed was, again, a bunch of candy thrown down there — a bunch of assets thrown down there to gain votes but without a methodical, smart border approach. We want a smart border and smart immigration plan, something that makes sense,” Rep. Mike McCaul (R-Texas) said on CBS’s “Face The Nation.”
McCaul said that he’s concerned President Barack Obama doesn’t want the House to pass an immigration bill so that he can use it as political leverage ahead of the 2014 elections.
“The White House would like to see this fail in the House so that [Obama] can blame the House of Representatives for that and then try to take back the House of Representatives and then all bets are off on his agenda,” McCaul said.
Cutting illegal immigration by between 33 percent and 50 percent (a fairly big range) is not exactly a passing grade. According to one estimate, the CBO’s original report on S. 744 suggested that, ten years from the bill’s passage, there could be 8.3 million illegal immigrants in the US. This new CBO report suggests that S. 744 would now shave that number down to 7.5 million illegal immigrants. Senator Rubio said last month that “none of us wants to be here five years from now facing 5 million illegal immigrants more, another wave of illegal immigration,” but under even the newly amended bill, there could easily be over 7 million illegal immigrants in the U.S. by 2023.
One of the major limitations of Corker-Hoeven is that it fixates on border security, but many illegal immigrants are visa-overstayers (a demographic that could grow under the guest-worker programs of the bill). Interior enforcement would seem very important for reducing illegal immigration. Some GOP leaders have suggested trading immediate legalization for the promise of future enforcement, but this report suggests that even such future enforcement might not be sufficient, assuming that enforcement happens at all. The administration’s decision to delay the Obamacare employer mandate reminds us that future enforcement strategies might also be delayed — perhaps indefinitely.
Four Augusts ago, Congress was busy passing — in order to find out what was in it — a different mammoth, because “comprehensive,” bill. During the August 2009 recess, legislators conducted often-tumultuous town hall meetings, where they discovered that intensity resided disproportionately among opponents of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). Opponents’ anger was registered emphatically in congressional elections 15 months later, which is one reason why implementation of the act’s most onerous provisions was delayed until 2014, after the 2012 presidential election.
The PPACA remains unpopular, and there are congressional elections in years divisible by two — not even the Obama administration can ignore that constitutional fact — so last Tuesday, the administration said this about the act’s mandate that in 2014, large employers provide expensive health-care coverage for their workers or pay a substantial penalty: Never mind…
This lesson in the Obama administration’s approach to the rule of law is pertinent to the immigration bill, which at last count had 222 instances of a discretionary “may” and 153 of “waive.” Such language means that were the Senate bill to become law, the executive branch would be able to do pretty much as it pleases, even to the point of saying about almost anything: Never mind.
I’ve seen a lot of intellectually weak cases in this town. I’ve rarely seen as intellectually a weak case as the case against the Senate immigraiton bill. The Republicans say they want to reduce illegal immigration; the Congressional Budget Office says the Senate bill will reduce it by a third to half. They say they want economic growth; all the top conservative economists say it’ll produce economic growth. They say they want to reduce the debt; the CBO says it will reduce the debt. All the big major objectives the Republicans stand for, the Senate immigration bill will do. The other things they’re talking about are secondary and tertiary issues. Whether we get 86% border protection or 90%—compared to the big things this bill does, they’re miniscule. I’m mystified.
There’s this underwear gnomes arguments coming from Barack Obama, right? Help Barack Obama get an immigration bill that includes amnesty so he can have a big signing ceremony.
That’s step one. Step two is a question mark. And step three is Republicans win the Hispanic vote. I’m not sure how that argument plays out, and very few Republicans are convinced by that. A lot of Republicans just sort of assert that.
What we really is the industry, the K. Street, the Chamber of Commerce pushing for something that will bring in more workers and that will help business. But this cuts against the idea of trying to get the missing white voters. Because the missing white voters aren’t the Southerners that you spent the opening talking about — the missing white voters are people in Pennsylvania, in Ohio, all the way down to Nevada, who are working class whites, who feel left out by both Democrats and Republicans.
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