Monday, September 23, 2013

Pelosi's Own Bill: Can She Save Immigration Reform in the House?

From Politico:

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is spearheading a plan to advance comprehensive immigration reform in the chamber.
The California Democrat plans to introduce legislation combining the comprehensive bill that passed the Senate Judiciary Committee in May with a bipartisan border-security bill from the House Homeland Security Committee, according to sources familiar with the plans.
The strategy was detailed at a meeting hosted by Pelosi last week with top House Democrats and several immigration-rights advocates, the sources said. The plan would be to publicly release the bill timed to the Oct. 5 “National Day of Action” that is meant to mobilize grassroots support and pressure the House Republican leadership to take up immigration reform that includes a pathway to citizenship.
Immigration legislation has been stalled since the Senate passed a comprehensive bill in June. The GOP-controlled House hasn’t taken any action, and many House Republicans are skeptical of doing anything short of approving a series of piecemeal bills with a primary focus on enhancing border security.
Other Democratic sources familiar with the Pelosi discussions caution that no final decisions have been made. For instance, the date to release the legislation could change. Or House Democrats could settle on another immigration reform bill, though no others have emerged as a potential option.
“Dems agree that they need to lean into the issue more” and that may include releasing a bill “sooner rather than later,” one advocate briefed on the discussions said Monday.
Attendees at Pelosi’s immigration meeting included House Democratic Caucus Chairman Xavier Becerra of California and Democratic Reps. George Miller and Zoe Lofgren of California, John Yarmuth of Kentucky, and Chris Van Hollen of Maryland. Among the pro-reform advocates were representatives from the AFL-CIO, the Service Employees International Union, the National Council of La Raza, Americas Voice and CASA de Maryland.
The Thursday huddle was part of a slew of immigration-focused meetings led by Pelosi last week, including ones with former AOL executive Steve Case and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg.
House lawmakers will return to Washington on Wednesday, and the House Democratic Caucus is slated to huddle later Wednesday evening for their weekly party meeting. One of the items on the agenda is “next steps on immigration reform,” according to an aide.
Going with the version of the Senate Gang of Eight bill that passed the Senate Judiciary Committee, rather than the full Senate in June, is meant to strip out controversial border-security provisions that were inserted into the legislation in the final days of floor debate in order to gain Republican support. Read more...


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