There are just eight days of legislative business remaining this year before lawmakers leave Washington for the winter holidays. House Speaker John Boehner maintained earlier this month that immigration reform wouldn’t happen this year. While that may be the case, he insists that the issue will continue to be debated in the House next year, although the result won’t be in the form of a single, comprehensive bill.
“Is immigration reform dead? Absolutely not,” said Boehner at a news conference at the Capitol on Thursday. “I believe that Congress needs to deal with this issue. Our committees are continuing to do their work. There are a lot of private conversations that are underway to try to figure out, how do we best move on a common-sense, step-by-step basis to address this very important issue…because it is a very important issue.”
Boehner said he was “encouraged that the president said that he wouldn’t stand in the way of a step-by-step immigration reform” since “that’s the approach the House Republicans have taken” so far.
President Obama on Tuesday told the Wall Street Journal that he would be open to stand alone immigration legislation, but only if the individual measures address all of the problems facing our broken immigration system.
“If they want to chop that thing up into five pieces, as long as all five pieces get done, I don’t care what it looks like as long as it’s actually delivering on those core values that we talk about,” Obama said.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi echoed Obama’s sentiments, saying that a series of piecemeal bills from the House could be combined for consideration at a conference table with the bipartisan “Gang of Eight” bill, was passed the Senate on June 27.
“The speaker is the speaker and any way he wants to bring the bill to the floor — in pieces or in big chunks or whatever it is — we just want to see legislation come to the floor so that Congress can act upon that legislation,” Pelosi said.