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

Video Experts Warn World Losing Ebola Fight

Doctors Without Borders says world is losing battle against Ebola, unless wealthy nations dispatch specialized biological disaster response teams More

Video Experts: Rise of Islamic State Significant Development in Jihadism

Many analysts contend the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years More

US-Based Hong Kongers Pledge Support for Pro-Democracy Activists

Democracy advocates call on Chinese living abroad to join them in opposing new election rules for their home territory 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.
Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearancei
X
Elizabeth Lee
September 02, 2014 8:57 PM
Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearance

Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Experts See Rise of ISIS as Significant Development

The Islamic State’s rise seems sudden. It caught the U.S. by surprise this summer when it captured large portions of northern Iraq and spread its wings in neighboring Syria. But many analysts contend that the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years. VOA's Jela de Franceschi takes a closer look at the rise of ISIS and its implications for the Middle East and beyond.
Video

Video Israel Concerned Over Syrian Rebels in Golan

Israeli officials are following with concern the recent fighting between Syrian rebels and government forces near the contested Golan Heights. Forty-four U.N. peacekeepers from Fiji have been seized by Syrian Islamist rebels and the clashes occasionally have spilled into Israel. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.

AppleAndroid