Tuesday, December 17, 2013
From The Week:
The two-year bipartisan budget deal passed by the House Thursday night potentially will do more than just dispel the atmosphere of chronic crisis in Washington, which has driven Congress' approval rating to record lows. The Capitol stage is now set for an even bigger bipartisan achievement: Immigration reform.
The immigration issue was set to come to a head last fall, after immigration advocates ran circles around the Tea Party during the August recess to whip up support for the bipartisan Senate bill. While Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) was resistant to the Senate’s comprehensive approach, he could not completely snub public pressure and promised the House would take action.
But instead of immigration, the fall season gave us the Syrian crisis, the government shutdown, and the HealthCare.gov botch, all of which demanded media attention that deprived immigration activists of the ability to maximize grassroots pressure. Momentum appeared to stall. The Hill even ran a two-part series in mid-November called "How Immigration Died."
But a funny thing happened two weeks after that obituary: President Obama publicly accepted Boehner's position that the House pass a series of piecemeal immigration bills instead of a single comprehensive bill like the Senate’s. Obama removed a political roadblock, putting the burden on Boehner to either follow through on his own pledge or shoulder all the political consequences for failure.
Boehner may not be eager to force his party to vote on an issue that divides its members, but neither does he want Republicans to take the blame for inaction and lose an entire generation of Latino voters. Read more....