Senate Dems to Boehner: Immigration Reform Is Alive, but It’s Your Fault It’s Stumbling

US House Minority Leader Rep. John Boehner speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill.
National Journal
Michael Catalin
Add to Briefcase
See more stories about...
Michael Catalin
Feb. 6, 2014, 9:41 a.m.

House Speak­er John Boehner on Thursday might have doused the pro­spects for im­mig­ra­tion re­form this year, but Sen­ate Demo­crat­ic lead­ers are sim­ul­tan­eously stok­ing hope and bash­ing the GOP over the is­sue.

Boehner poin­ted to a trust gap between Pres­id­ent Obama and law­makers, say­ing mem­bers of his con­fer­ence be­lieve the ad­min­is­tra­tion will not en­force im­mig­ra­tion le­gis­la­tion as it was in­ten­ded to be.

“There’s wide­spread doubt about wheth­er this ad­min­is­tra­tion can be trus­ted to en­force our laws,” Boehner said. “And it’s go­ing to be dif­fi­cult to move any im­mig­ra­tion le­gis­la­tion un­til that changes.”

But key Sen­ate Demo­crats viewed Boehner’s com­ments as rhet­or­ic­al com­pens­a­tion for polit­ic­al di­vi­sions in the House GOP Con­fer­ence. They’re also not will­ing to cede the is­sue they — along with Sen­ate Re­pub­lic­ans — in­ves­ted so much time and en­ergy in­to.

“I am not thrown back by Speak­er Boehner’s state­ment,” said Sen. Chuck Schu­mer of New York and a mem­ber of the im­mig­ra­tion Gang of Eight that helped pass le­gis­la­tion in the Sen­ate last year. “He’s in a very dif­fi­cult po­s­i­tion. He is try­ing to fig­ure out, in my judg­ment, how to get this done without his caucus or too many in his caucus re­belling.”

But Schu­mer’s sym­path­ies went only so far. He con­tin­ued: “But I think the lead­er­ship of the Re­pub­lic­an Party knows that if they don’t do im­mig­ra­tion re­form, they have big prob­lems down the road, and even im­me­di­ately. And this idea that it’s gonna be easi­er to do in a pres­id­en­tial year? Come on.”

Al­though they re­but­ted the no­tion that the is­sue is dead in the House, Sen­ate Demo­crats still wal­loped Re­pub­lic­ans, de­ploy­ing what has be­come a key polit­ic­al cudgel: that Re­pub­lic­ans cause D.C.’s grid­lock.

“They’re de­vel­op­ing a trend here. Shut­ting down the gov­ern­ment. Shut­ting down im­mig­ra­tion re­form. It’s the Shut­down Re­pub­lic­ans Caucus. That isn’t what the Amer­ic­an pub­lic sent us here to do,” said As­sist­ant Ma­jor­ity Lead­er Dick Durbin of Illinois.

Sens­ing an op­por­tun­ity to jab Sen­ate Minor­ity Lead­er Mitch Mc­Con­nell, who earli­er this week said the dif­fer­ences between the House and Sen­ate ap­proaches to im­mig­ra­tion re­form looked ir­resolv­able, Ma­jor­ity Lead­er Harry Re­id stepped in.

“There’s been a fo­cus on Boehner be­cause of how he waffles on this be­cause of his caucus,” Re­id said. “But don’t blame Boehner alone, be­cause the Re­pub­lic­an lead­er in the Sen­ate threw cold wa­ter on this [Tues­day].”

What We're Following See More »
ANOTHER NUCLEAR OPTION?
Byrd Rule Could Trip Up Health Legislation
14 hours ago
THE DETAILS

"Even if House Republicans manage to get enough members of their party on board with the latest version of their health care bill, they will face another battle in the Senate: whether the bill complies with the chamber’s arcane ... Byrd rule, which stipulates all provisions in a reconciliation bill must affect federal spending and revenues in a way that is not merely incidental." Democrats should have the advantage in that fight, "unless the Senate pulls another 'nuclear option.'”

Source:
ONE WEEK
Senate Votes To Fund Government
17 hours ago
BREAKING
ON TO SENATE
House Passes Spending Bill
17 hours ago
BREAKING

The House has passed a one-week spending bill that will avert a government shutdown which was set to begin at midnight. Lawmakers now have an extra week to come to a longer agreement which is expected to fund the government through the end of the fiscal year in September. The legislation now goes to the Senate, where it is expected to pass before President Trump signs it.

PRESIDENT CALLS MEDICAID FUNDS A “BAILOUT”
Puerto Rico Another Sticking Point in Budget Talks
1 days ago
THE DETAILS

President Trump’s portrayal of an effort to funnel more Medicaid dollars to Puerto Rico as a "bailout" is complicating negotiations over a continuing resolution on the budget. "House Democrats are now requiring such assistance as a condition for supporting the continuing resolution," a position that the GOP leadership is amenable to. "But Mr. Trump’s apparent skepticism aligns him with conservative House Republicans inclined to view its request as a bailout, leaving the deal a narrow path to passage in Congress."

Source:
POTENTIAL GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN?
Democrats Threaten Spending Bill Over Obamacare
1 days ago
BREAKING

Democrats in the House are threatening to shut down the government if Republicans expedite a vote on a bill to repeal and replace Obamacare, said Democratic House Whip Steny Hoyer Thursday. Lawmakers have introduced a one-week spending bill to give themselves an extra week to reach a long-term funding deal, which seemed poised to pass easily. However, the White House is pressuring House Republicans to take a vote on their Obamacare replacement Friday to give Trump a legislative victory, though it is still not clear that they have the necessary votes to pass the health care bill. This could go down to the wire.

Source:
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login