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Americans Want Action on Domestic Issues And Immigration Reform Would Pass If Boehner Would Allow A Vote

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Much of Washington, DC is consumed by the debate over attacking Syria—not just the actual issue, but what the debate means legislatively for other issues like immigration. But as we know, immigration isn’t like other issues. We addressed this yesterday in a press release titled, Seeing Through the House GOP’s Calendar & Process Excuses on Immigration Reform.

Two quotes cited in that release stand out:

As the Washington Post’s Greg Sargent notes today:

If immigration reform dies, it’s only because the House GOP leadership decided to kill it.  That’s just all there is to it.

Eliseo Medina of SEIU told the New York Times:

We don’t control the timing. What we do control is the pressure.  They will get this done when the pressure is so great they have to act.


Speaker John Boehner has invoked the Hastert Rule, better known as the Hastert Excuse, to block immigration reform from coming to the House floor.  Under the Hastert Excuse, Boehner will only bring bills to the floor that have majority support among House Republicans. Essentially, 117 Members of the Republican conference get to dictate which bills pass the House, instead of the 218-person majority we learned about it civics class.

But, you’ll notice that Boehner never mentioned the Hastert Excuse when it came to Syria. Not even once. And based on the whip counts we’re seeing, a majority of his caucus is opposed to military intervention. So there’s no majority of the majority, but Boehner promised a vote.

Deciding how the U.S. engages in Syria is important—too important to let partisanship rule.  So is passing immigration reform that is desperately needed by American families, workers, and businesses.

This week, NBC/WSJ released a poll showing almost 60% of Americans are opposed to the Syria action.  But there was another aspect to that poll we found interesting. Three-quarters of the American people do want Congress to focus on domestic issues:

The NBC/WSJ poll also shows that a whopping 74 percent agree with the statement that it’s time for the United States to do less around the world and focus more on domestic problems.

With immigration, we have an issue that has the support of a broad majority in the country — and we definitely have the numbers to pass reform in the House, if Republican leadership will set aside partisanship. The American people want results. All we need is a vote. And, John Boehner is what’s standing between us and real immigration reform.