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ICYMI: Clock is Ticking for House Republicans on Immigration

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Republican Mario Diaz-Balart Puts Onus On Republicans to Act, and Soon

New comments from Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) underscore the fact that it’s now or never for House Republicans on immigration reform.  If they don’t act in the coming weeks, the window of opportunity closes on immigration reform, President Obama takes action and the GOP continues their march over the demographic cliff.

Rep. Diaz-Balart had this to say to CQ Roll Call:

The legislative process in essence, frankly, has to work on deadlines.  There’s a deadline.  And the deadline is that if we don’t get it done by August it doesn’t happen.  If Congress doesn’t act by the August break, the president is going to do something.  And once that happens, two things happen.  No. 1 is that the possibility of any further negotiations — of any — disintegrate.  [And President Obama] will also then create a narrative of his choosing and again creating a situation where no further negotiations are possible.

Rep. Diaz-Balart’s comments add to the growing consensus on several key points:

  1. House Republicans need to act now if they hope to share political credit and influence policy on immigration reform, as inaction this year likely means that legislation will be off the table until after the 2016 elections.
  2. As the window of opportunity closes on Republicans, the window of opportunity opens for President Obama take bold executive action to provide affirmative relief to low-priority undocumented immigrants.
  3. There is a legislative deadline rapidly approaching.  Rep. Diaz-Balart noted an August timetable, while longtime immigration reform champion Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) told Republicans last month they have only until the 4th of July Congressional recess to act.  Broadly consistent with these comments, America’s Voice and a number of other advocacy groups have said that House Republicans have until the end of June to schedule floor votes on immigration reform.  That leaves fewer than 50 days left until the House Republicans’ window of opportunity closes.
  4. As House Republicans continue to block immigration vote, they will continue to march over the “demographic cliff.”  Last week, America’s Voice launched a new website – www.gopcliff.com – that depicts the GOP’s bleak future should they continue to block immigration reform.

318 Days Since Senate Passed its Immigration Bill; 46 Days Left Until Window of Opportunity Closes