Immigration Reform: Republicans Have No Plans For a Vote This Year

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Politico reports that although Democrats and President Obama have been pushing immigration reform, House Republican leadership has no plans to vote on any immigration reform legislation before the end the year.

The House has just 19 days in session before the end of 2013, and there are a number of reasons why immigration reform is stalled this year.

Following the fiscal battles last month, the internal political dynamics are tenuous within the House Republican Conference. A growing chorus of GOP lawmakers and aides are intensely skeptical that any of the party’s preferred piecemeal immigration bills can garner the support 217 Republicans — they would need that if Democrats didn’t lend their votes. Republican leadership doesn’t see anyone coalescing around a single plan, according to sources across GOP leadership. Leadership also says skepticism of President Barack Obama within the House Republican Conference is at a high, and that’s fueled a desire to stay out of a negotiating process with the Senate. Republicans fear getting jammed.

Of course, the dynamics could change. Some, including Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.), are eager to pass something before the end of the year. Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has signaled publicly that he would like to move forward in 2013 on an overhaul of the nation’s immigration laws. If Republicans win some Democratic support on piecemeal bills, they could move forward this year. But still, anything that makes its way to the floor needs to have significant House Republican support

And Obama is also ramping up his messaging on immigration reform. “It’s good for our economy, it’s good for our national security, it’s good for our people, and we should do it this year,” Obama said Thursday. That same afternoon his chief of staff Denis McDonough met with business CEOs to strategize on immigration reform. Attendees included representatives from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers.

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