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Kevin McCarthy’s First Big Decision: Will Immigration Be on the House Legislative Calendar for July?

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Despite Past Comments Supportive of Reform, Recent Comments Are Hardly Encouraging

The first major decision facing newly elected House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) will be whether immigration reform will secure a place on the House’s July legislative calendar.  Unfortunately, despite representing an agriculture-heavy district with a sizeable Latino voter constituency where immigration reform is overwhelmingly popular, McCarthy’s recent comments suggests he’s more likely to continue to slow walk immigration reform until it’s too late to take action this year.

Despite previous comments about the need to push for a vote on immigration, CQ Roll Call reports that a source close to McCarthy said he would now “only agree to put an immigration bill on the legislative calendar if Obama proved he could be trusted, and if the conference is united behind a specific plan on action.”  Translation?  More transparent excuses for inaction, as the window for House Republicans to act closes rapidly.  The last chance for a sign of life will come in the next week or two, when House Republican leadership lay out their legislative priorities for the July work period.  The inclusion or exclusion of immigration in the House Majority Leader memo will be the last indication of whether the House GOP intends to schedule votes on immigration, or rely on a blame-game cover strategy instead.

According to Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice, “As soon as he’s elected, Rep. Kevin McCarthy will face his first test: to schedule a vote on immigration reform, or not. To move the GOP and the country forward, or help craft the Party’s obituary for 2016.  If McCarthy wants to do for the national Republican Party what Pete Wilson did for the GOP in California, he will continue to side with Rep. Steve King and put off a vote on reasonable immigration reform.  If he wants to move the Party forward, and ensure its competitiveness in future national elections, he’ll do the opposite.  We’ll know when he publishes the July legislative agenda which path McCarthy is going to choose.”

As Republican consultant Mike Murphy tells Jennifer Rubin of the Washington Post, “In the long run, it is an existential question if Republicans can only get 50-year old white men.”

357 Days Since Senate Passed its Immigration Bill; 7 Days Left Until Window of Opportunity Closes