It’s Been 306 Days Since Senate Passed its Immigration Bill; 59 Days Left Until Window of Opportunity Closes
In a development that surprised no one, Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) yesterday walked back his comments from last week in which he mocked his fellow House Republicans for dragging their feet on immigration reform. Speaker Boehner said yesterday, “You know, you tease the ones you love, all right?” He then pivoted back to the GOP’s vacuous talking points: “I wanted to make sure the members understood the biggest impediment we have to moving immigration reform is that the American people don’t trust the president to enforce or implement the law that we may or may not pass.”
Despite the transparent attempts to set up the blame game, Speaker Boehner cannot explain away the fact that the House is facing a rapidly-approaching deadline for legislative action at the end of June. It has been 306 days since the Senate passed its immigration bill. During that time, Speaker Boehner has refused to put immigration reform to a floor vote, despite having enough votes for passage. Yet House leadership has made time in the past year for several votes on Steve King-inspired, anti-immigrant measures. During this time of House inaction and obstruction, over 340,000 immigrants have been deported – many of whom would have likely qualified for legal status under the pending Senate bill.
Rep. Luis Gutierrez took to the House floor today to remind House Republican leadership that they face a looming deadline, and any failure to act on legislative reform will be on them, not the President. The immigration reform champion said:
The easiest way for Republicans to get this issue behind them would be to schedule a vote on the bipartisan bill that passed the Senate last year. An hour or two of debate and a 15 minute vote is all we need. Done, punto.
Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice, said:
Instead of teasing the ones he loves, Speaker Boehner should try leading the ones he loves. If he doesn’t, the Republican Party will squander its last chance to influence the policy and share the credit for the enactment of long overdue immigration reform, and with it a chance to get right with the fastest growing groups of voters in America.