News / USA

Republicans Hesitate on Immigration Reform

House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio arrives for a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington,  Feb. 6, 2014. Boehner said it will be difficult to pass immigration legislation this year.
House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio arrives for a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Feb. 6, 2014. Boehner said it will be difficult to pass immigration legislation this year.
Earlier this year the prospects for immigration reform seemed bright.  Republican congressional leaders, especially House Speaker John Boehner, shifted their tone and indicated a willingness to find common ground with President Barack Obama and Democrats on legalizing the status of millions who had entered the country unlawfully.
 
But the backlash was swift.  When it came time to float the idea to the conservative Republican conference in the House of Representatives, the air was squeezed out of the balloon quicker than a giggling five-year old.  When Speaker Boehner ran into conservative opposition within his own conference, he shifted the blame to President Obama, arguing that Republicans don’t trust him to enforce current immigration laws.
 
Rather than try to resolve differences in the party that have plagued Republicans for several years, the leadership decided the risks of inter-party warfare were too great during a congressional election year.  Republican strategists focused on the short term political gains and argued that anything that took the party focus off of attacking Obamacare during the election cycle was a distraction and a waste of time.  They won out.  Immigration reform, it seems, has fallen victim to election politics yet again.
 
None of this is reassuring to moderate Republicans and many in the business community who fear the party may be adding to its long term woes by passing on immigration reform this year.  President Obama lost the white vote to Mitt Romney in 2012 but it didn’t matter.  The president won 71 percent of the Hispanic vote and the Obama coalition of young people, minorities and women carried him to re-election despite Romney’s strong showing with whites and even independent voters.  Forward-looking Republicans are worried that the party is missing an opportunity this year to make some progress on immigration reform, something that might begin to soften the Republican image among Hispanic and Asian-American voters, the two fastest-growing groups in the electorate.
 
Could reform happen in 2015?  It gets more complicated.  The closer on the calendar you get to the Republican presidential primaries could work against any compromise on immigration reform.  As we saw in the 2012 primaries, the deep divide within the party over how to handle illegal immigrants already in the country will be on full display during the various presidential candidate debates held before and during the primaries and caucus votes during the 2016 presidential election cycle.  The odds of finding enough Republicans to support a compromise on immigration during this period would seem to be slim.  
 
Changing Tactics
 
While Republicans appear to be passing on immigration reform, it looks as though they are abandoning their tactic of using votes on raising the debt limit to extract spending cuts from the president and Democrats in Congress.  The decision this week to allow a “clean” debt limit bill to pass without any conditions or demands for additional spending cuts signals the end of a three-year strategy that Republican congressional leaders have now apparently deemed ineffective.
 
The culmination of that strategy was last October’s shutdown of the federal government, spurred by Tea Party enthusiasts both within and outside of Congress, who were desperate to show conservatives back home that they were serious about trying to kill the Obama health care law.  But the tactic backfired on Republicans.  Their approval rating as a party began to seriously plummet and only evened off after serious problems arose with the web site for the health care law, which in turn dominated news headlines for weeks.
 
The shutdown was a debacle for the Tea Party and emboldened mainstream Republicans like House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell to be less fearful of conservative threats and pressure.  Congressional leaders quickly agreed on a budget framework that was signed into law by President Obama, and that was followed by this week’s strategy on the debt limit extension.
 
Conservative and Tea Party groups are very unhappy.  The Senate Conservatives Fund, an independent group that strikes fear in the hearts of Republican senators seeking to avoid far-right primary challengers, issued a statement demanding that Boehner must be replaced.  But unlike in past years, the reaction seems muted.  Republican leaders sense that Tea Party organizers are back on their heels a bit after the shutdown fiasco.  They are also being more aggressive in trying to weed out conservative primary challengers who can undermine Republican chances to win back control of the Senate this November.
 
Republicans sense an opportunity in this year’s midterm elections and they don’t want to blow it.  They believe if they can field the right candidates in some key Senate races, they can both hold or increase their majority in the House and gain the six seats they need to take hold of the Senate.  If that happens, they believe President Obama would be effectively boxed in for his final two years in office.  Republicans would then have an opportunity to promote their proposals for smaller government in Congress as a kind of preview for the presidential election campaign two years from now.  After eight years of President Obama, Republicans see winning their year’s congressional elections as a key step in returning to power in the White House in 2016.

You May Like

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

Video Secret Service Chief Under Fire for White House Security Breach

Julia Pierson faces tough questions from lawmakers after recent intrusion at White House, says: 'It is clear that our security plan was not executed properly' More

Frustrated, Liberian Students Want Ebola Fight Role

Thousands have volunteered to go to counties, rural villages to talk to people in their language about deadly virus More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: USA PARENTS from: Illinois
February 21, 2014 2:56 AM
Families All good people
our hearts and prayers go out to our families.
Is our chance to get back to best of who we are.
to lead by example with the dignity,
integrity and honor that built this country
and which will build it once again

Please don't take us from our beliefs,
and don't trample our freedom.
Please don't separate us Families
We are Illegal Parents, Wife's Husbands, Brothers and kids of Us Citizens And Us Families
who serve out of the spotlight.
We Want to be Part of us Families we want to know what is Freedom.
May God Bless You
And may God Bless the
United States of America


by: Wish Freedom from: Florida
February 17, 2014 6:15 AM
IDK why People stile just talk. Many people dyes for Freedom
All USA History Fight for Freedom
But where is Freedom Today?
Where Is Constitution right?
I see Kids like Parents are Deported.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9bGc_iuR3sg


by: sally from: maui
February 14, 2014 9:36 PM
I am sick and tires of this congress along with president Obama playing politics with people lives. Congress flip flop and president obama do not sign to stop deportations. This congress will have in record to block all bill and Mr. President Obama will in record who deported families who believe in him. I am very disappointed


by: whatever from: FL
February 14, 2014 10:56 AM
They are fighting for their arsses not for people. Everything is about power, nobody cares for small people.


by: jaswant dol from: Philippines
February 14, 2014 1:21 AM
Republican or democrat are same on immigration issue.they don't want it done

In Response

by: Milan Nikolic
February 14, 2014 1:56 AM
True!


by: Bat from: New York
February 13, 2014 4:29 PM
Republicans are dreaming too big to control both houses, but let me tell you this they will lose majority in both houses in 2014.


by: thomas bush from: sac,ca
February 13, 2014 2:37 PM
This artical was written by a repug,im sure,its a bunch of fantasy,too unreal.

In Response

by: John smith from: Texas
February 13, 2014 7:34 PM
Republican't keep dreaming you are too far away from reality. I am republican but tea party antiamerican party does not represent the American people at all. Times has changed.

In Response

by: hanna from: new york
February 13, 2014 5:44 PM
what may seem impossible can happen. stop hating on immigrants not all are mexican

In Response

by: Danny from: fort lauderdale
February 13, 2014 3:48 PM
.. I agree with you ,i think probably they still dreamIng, but its not going to happen!!!! they can dream it's free.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihadi
X
Mahi Ramakrishnan
September 30, 2014 2:16 PM
Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid