The crisis is over, at least temporarily. It is time to tackle pending legislative issues, like immigration reform in the House of Representatives.
It would be a tragedy if the scars Republicans now have, caused by the back and forth about the government shutdown and the debt, are even more detrimental to what was already little enthusiasm among the House majority for comprehensive reform.
President Obama’s proposal to give priority in these last months of the year to the budget, immigration and the farm bill is reasonable. That is what is pending. Members of Congress can tackle several major bills at the same time, since it’s their job.
We can’t allow the current frustration of House Republicans to be used as a new excuse to set aside the work already done by the Senate with its bipartisan bill.
Much less, let them accuse Obama and the Democrats of exerting pressure with the goal of making the Republicans look bad.
First, the White House is fulfilling one of its political promises by promoting the reform.
Second, if Republicans are divided on this issue and unable to reach bipartisan agreement, their caucus in the House is the only one to blame. It’s unreal for them to expect to impose extreme conditions and then accuse the president of not negotiating, or for them to distrust the White House. In any case, it is mandatory to have negotiations with the Senate before submitting a bill for the president’s signature.
An influential wing of the Republicans should understand that comprehensive reform will bring more benefits than disadvantages to the country. That this bill is not something to curry favor with Latinos or a special Democratic billbut that it contributes, particularly to the economy.
The bill the Senate passed makes it clear that it is in the national interest to have immigration reform. That bill is already in the House. If the Republicans can’t come to an agreement on their own comprehensive immigration reform bill, they must at least allow for a vote on the Senate’s proposal. If they don’t want to participate in a positive manner, they should not get in the way.