President Barack Obama claims that immigration reform is being delayed by internal politics in the Republican Party. On Friday the President declared that the House of Representatives, which is controlled by the Republicans, would actually pass the immigration reform package created by the Gang of Eight, but that Congress is being prevented from sending him a bill by “internal Republican caucus politics.
The wide-reaching legislation, which was passed by the Senate two months ago back in June with 68 votes, effectively evaporated after Republicans in the House of Representatives, who objected to a number of the provisions contained within the bill, announced that they were not interested in taking it up. The bill offers a pathway to US citizenship for around 11 million undocumented immigrants that currently live in the United States.
During a news conference President Obama declared that he was “absolutely convinced” that, if introduced to the House floor, the Gang of Eight’s bill would pass thanks to Democrat votes. “The challenge right now is not that there aren’t a majority of House members, just like a majority of Senate members, who aren’t prepared to support this bill,” he insisted. “The problem is internal Republican caucus politics.”
The leadership of the House have proposed coming up with a piecemeal approach that would deal with individual aspects of the immigration issue separately, but advocates of the original Senate bill are hoping to bring it back should the two chambers be able to make it into conference negotiations.