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Republican Congressional leaders have told the White House that they will not bend on any normalization scheme that allows those who entered the US illegally to have a path to citizenship without leaving the country -- and so no immigration reform will happen in 2006. They will not proclaim the effort dead out of respect to George Bush, but they will not consider the broader reforms that the Senate wants, and the Senate will not act on border security alone:
In a defeat for President Bush, Republican congressional leaders said Tuesday that broad immigration legislation is all but doomed for the year, a victim of election-year concerns in the House and conservatives' implacable opposition to citizenship for millions of illegal immigrants.
"Our number one priority is to secure the border, and right now I haven't heard a lot of pressure to have a path to citizenship," said Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., announcing plans for an unusual series of hearings to begin in August on Senate-passed immigration legislation. ...
White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said after Hastert's announcement of hearings, "The president is undeterred. We are committed and we have been working very hard with members (of Congress) to see if we can reach consensus on an issue the American people have said they want action on."
In the Senate, Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., told reporters he welcomed hearings. "As much examination of the House bill and Senate bill as possible is good," he said.
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., a principal author of the Senate-passed measure, offered to testify at House hearings. Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, chairman of the Judiciary Committee, said, "I'm hopeful" of a compromise before the elections.
Two thoughts come to mind on this announcement. First, I find it interesting and a little appalling that the GOP leadership in Congress waited for George Bush to leave the country before making this announcement. They have had plenty of opportunity to make this announcement before he took off for his EU conferences; this kind of tactic looks like a stab in the back, even if it isn't intended that way.
Second, it looks like the GOP wants to win its base back rather than attempt broad-based legislation. In this case, that may well prove successful. The midterms have more risk for the House than anywhere else, and the Democrats have aimed their main efforts at capturing the lower chamber. This may be an acknowledgement of too much risk in November and offering a tough stance on immigration in order to drive conservatives back to the polls.
That strategy carries some risks, but mostly for the Senate, and that mostly for the moderates. The issue of border security has received high-profile attention, and if this session of Congress still produces nothing significant, the blame will fall on the upper chamber, especially the moderate and liberal Senators that insisted on linking border security to the larger issue of immigration. The House may well force the Senate to de-link the issues and come together on a straight border-security bill before the elections.
One fact is certain: this issue isn't dead, even if immigration reform is on life support.Sphere It View blog reactions
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Tracked on June 20, 2006 8:13 PM
» Illegal Immigration Watch: GOP Congressional Leaders - Pathway to Citizenship Bill is DEAD from FullosseousFlap's Dental Blog
Loren Avis holds an American flag while attending a Defend Colorado Now rally at the State Capitol in Denver, Thursday, June 15, 2006. Hoping to send a strong message to state and federal leaders, illegal immigration critics on Thursday kicked off ano... [Read More]
Tracked on June 20, 2006 9:34 PM
» House GOP says immigration compromise is dead from Small Town Veteran
No Amnesty, No Normalization, No Border Security Republican Congressional leaders have told the White House that they will not bend on any normalization scheme that allows those who entered the US illegally to have a path to citizenship without leaving [Read More]
Tracked on June 20, 2006 10:49 PM
» Immigration Bill Is Dead from Iowa Voice
No deal this year: In a defeat for President Bush, Republican congressional leaders said Tuesday that broad immigration legislation is all but doomed for the year, a victim of election-year concerns in the House and conservatives' implacable opposition [Read More]
Tracked on June 21, 2006 6:34 AM
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Tracked on June 21, 2006 7:05 AM
» Headline Summaries: Border Security from Traction Control
Headlines and links from all over (6/20/2006 - 6/21/2006) June 21, 2006 U.S. House delays immigration debate GOP House: Broad Immigration Bill Unlikely Guard troops begin training in Laredo Immigrant bill might be doomed this year Reid set to outline ... [Read More]
Tracked on June 21, 2006 7:43 AM
» Immigration Bill Dead from PoliBlog: A Rough Draft of my Thoughts
Via the AP: GOP leaders: No immigration bill this year In a defeat for President Bush, Republican congressional leaders said Tuesday that broad immigration legislation is all but doomed for the year, a victim of election-year concerns in the House an... [Read More]
Tracked on June 21, 2006 8:34 AM
» GOP Idiots from The Real Ugly American.com
The GOP once again is shooting themselves in the foot, and some hard line immigration policy advocates are cheering it. If the GOP looses the majority in either house this year, this idiocy will be partly to blame. How about just doing the right thing ... [Read More]
Tracked on June 21, 2006 10:35 AM
» Other Stuff from Hard Starboard
Speaking of the Senate getting hosed, House Speaker Denny Hastert has done one thing to redeem himself this week: drive a spike through the heart of "comprehensive" immigration "reform," followed by feeding the remains through a woodchipper, incinera... [Read More]
Tracked on June 23, 2006 6:56 PM
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