Things are looking very bad for comprehensive immigration reform this morning. Both the President and the Senate want immigration reform so its fate rests with the Republican-controlled House. After a caucus meeting yesterday it is clear House Republican have decided to oppose sweeping reform.
In a joint statement the House Republican leadership said they would oppose the basical idea of a comprehensive bill, calling it an “Obamacare-like” approach. Calling anything “Obamacare-like” is the ultimate kiss of death for Republicans these days. From Speaker John Boehner’s office:
Today House Republicans affirmed that rather than take up the flawed legislation rushed through the Senate, House committees will continue their work on a step-by-step, common-sense approach to fixing what has long been a broken system. The American people want our border secured, our laws enforced, and the problems in our immigration system fixed to strengthen our economy. But they don’t trust a Democratic-controlled Washington, and they’re alarmed by the president’s ongoing insistence on enacting a single, massive, Obamacare-like bill rather than pursuing a step-by-step, common-sense approach to actually fix the problem. The president has also demonstrated he is willing to unilaterally delay or ignore significant portions of laws he himself has signed, raising concerns among Americans that this administration cannot be trusted to deliver on its promises to secure the border and enforce laws as part of a single, massive bill like the one passed by the Senate.
Breaking reform into smaller parts will make it almost impossible to pass by destroying the compromises made in the Senate. Senate Democrats aren’t going to support some provisions without the guarantee they will get the parts they want.
Other statements make it clear that the House Republicans plan to slow roll the process putting it off until Washington is consumed by other fights like the debt ceiling.
It appears the plan for many House Republicans is to kill immigration reform while trying to keep their finger prints off the murder weapon. Instead of directly voting down the Senate bill they will muddy the water with delays and smaller bills that the Senate won’t accept until time runs out. The hope is to get regular people blame Washington dysfunction as a whole instead of just House Republicans.