As Senate Immigration Gang of 8 Gets Attention, House Immigration Gang of 8 Gets Moving
The New York Times reports that the “bipartisan group of House members that has been meeting quietly for nearly four years to discuss an overhaul of the nation’s immigration system is nearing agreement on a framework, and is briefing their respective leadership this week.” Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) said, “I think as of last night, they may have an agreement, an agreement in principle in terms of how we would deal with the question of both legal immigration and illegal immigration.”
The rapid progress in the House is a surprising development, which raises the question whether the House bi-partisan Gang of 8 will actually finish crafting its immigration bill before its Senate counterpart. The bi-partisan House group includes four Democrats and four Republicans: Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-CA), Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL), Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), and Rep. John Yarmuth (D-KY), Rep. John Carter (R-TX), Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL), Rep. Sam Johnson (R-TX), and Rep. Raul Labrador (R-ID). The House developments underscore how far the immigration debate has shifted since the elections and is another sign of the momentum behind legislation this year.
According to Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice Education Fund, “While the Senate Gang of 8 has gotten attention, the House Gang of 8 has gotten moving. Could it be that they beat the Senate to the finish line of completing a bill? Conventional wisdom has held that the GOP-led House would be the primary obstacle to introducing and passing immigration reform. Yet, as with the immigration debate overall, conventional wisdom has been turned upside down by the 2012 election. Today, even the House is helping to move the immigration legislative process in a positive direction. While the Senate is still likely to actually see a bill markup and floor action first, the impending legislation from the House group will be an important marker as the debate moves forward.”
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