There is no hope of immigration reform taking place in 2013 thanks to the bitter rows between Democrats and Republicans over the federal budget, according to one of the House of Representatives’ leading Republican members.
Idaho Republican Raul Labrador has told journalists that Obama can kiss goodbye to immigration reform after his refusal to talk to the Speaker during the government shutdown. The government shutdown lasted 16 days between the 1st and 17th of this month due to the fact that Congress was unable to reach an agreement for a federal government budget. Congress has to give its approval to the federal budget every year, but could not come to an agreement by the deadline of October 1st because of the increasing animosity between the two major political parties.
Congress has also been under pressure to come to an agreement regarding the nation’s level of debt, without which the United States would be forced to default on dealing with its enormous international debts, a default that many economists say would send the economy of the whole world back into recession. The House of Representatives, which is controlled by the Republicans, refused to give their approval for either the debt or the budget and attempted to force Obama to cut his health insurance program. Obama called this pressure blackmail and refused to capitulate, forcing the 16-day shutdown.
House Republicans ultimately had to agree to approve the debt and the federal budget, but their bitterness over Obama’s refusal to back down to their demands has seen many doubt immigration reform will now take place.