News / USA

    US Business Leader Confident Boehner Will Seek Immigration Reform

    FILE - Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, with House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., right, walks to a meeting of House Republicans at the Capitol in Washington.FILE - Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, with House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., right, walks to a meeting of House Republicans at the Capitol in Washington.
    x
    FILE - Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, with House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., right, walks to a meeting of House Republicans at the Capitol in Washington.
    FILE - Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, with House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., right, walks to a meeting of House Republicans at the Capitol in Washington.
    Reuters
    The head of the biggest U.S. business group, a traditional ally of Republicans, said on Thursday that he remains confident that the top Republican in Congress will push to enact comprehensive immigration reform.
     
    Donohue said he supports Boehner's decision to take a step-by-step approach, with smaller measures to fix the nation's broken immigration system, as opposed to the broader, comprehensive approach favored by Democrat leaders in the Senate.
     
    “I believe it will get done,” Donohue said at a news conference attended by business, religious and law enforcement leaders, all of whom echoed his determination and optimism.
     
    A landmark bill to bolster border security, help business get needed workers and provide a pathway to U.S. citizenship for up to 11 million undocumented immigrants won Senate approval in June.
     
    However, thus far, the House has passed only a handful of limited bills, most dealing with enforcement and none providing a pathway to U.S. citizenship.
     
    Donohue promised to help Boehner get the votes to pass a series of bills to provide comprehensive reform, including a pathway to citizenship.
     
    He said such legislation would be good for business, labor and the country, and that he expects final congressional approval in the first half of next year.
     
    “We're not going away,” said Donohue, whose business group, along with organized labor, helped craft the Senate bill. “We're just getting warmed up.”
     
    Boehner drew fire on Wednesday when he said that the House will not negotiate with the Senate to resolve differences between the Senate bill and what the House ends up passing.
     
    “We have made it clear that we are going to move on a common sense, step-by-step approach,” the speaker said, repeating his opposition to the Senate legislation.
     
    “We have no intention of ever going to conference on the Senate bill,” he continued.
     
    Some read Boehner's comments to mean that he was walking away from comprehensive reform.
     
    Donohue, whose Chamber of Commerce represents more than 3 million businesses, said he didn't see it that way.
     
    “I'm not upset with Boehner,” Donohue said, adding that he believes Congress will end up doing what needs to be done to overhaul the U.S. immigration system.
     
    “We will get there,” he said. “It doesn't matter to me what music they play for the dance.”
     
    Objection to Pathway
     
    The Chamber of Commerce, and much of the business community, has long been allies of Republicans, largely because of the party's anti-tax, anti-regulatory positions.
     
    Yet many Republicans have balked at the Senate bill because of the pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants.
     
    Critics say the pathway would provide “amnesty” to law breakers and encourage more illegal immigration.
     
    Supporters disagree. Instead, they argue, it would bring millions of illegal immigrants out of the shadows and end their exploitation.
     
    Donohue said he remains confident Congress will enact a comprehensive immigration overhaul, largely because polls show more than 70 percent of Americans back it.

    You May Like

    Video Rubio Looks to Surge in New Hampshire

    Republican presidential candidate has moved into second place in several recent surveys and appears to be gaining ground on longtime frontrunner Donald Trump

    UN Calls for Global Ban on Female Genital Mutilation

    Recent UNICEF report finds at least 200 million girls and women alive today have undergone female genital mutilation in 30 countries

    UN Pilots New Peace Approach in CAR

    Approach launched in northern town of Kaga Bandoro, where former combatants of mainly Muslim Seleka armed group and Christian and animist anti-Balaka movement are being paid to do community work

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibiti
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 05, 2016 4:30 PM
    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video Former Drug CEO Martin Shkreli Angers US Lawmakers

    A former U.S. pharmaceutical business executive has angered lawmakers by refusing to explain why he raised the price of a life-saving pill by 5,000 percent. Martin Shkreli was removed from a congressional hearing on Thursday after citing his Fifth Amendment right to stay silent. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Super Bowl TV Commercials are Super Business for Advertisers

    The Super Bowl, the championship clash between the two top teams in American Football, is the most-watched sporting event of the year, and advertisers are lining up and paying big bucks to get their commercials on the air. In fact, the TV commercials during the Super Bowl have become one of the most anticipated and popular features of the event. VOA's Brian Allen has a sneak peek of what you can expect to see when the big game goes to commercial break, and the real entertainment begins.
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Solar Innovation Provides Cheap, Clean Energy to Kenya Residents

    In Kenya, a company called M-Kopa Solar is providing clean energy to more than 300,000 homes across East Africa by allowing customers to "pay-as-you-go" via their cell phones. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from Kangemi, customers pay a small deposit for a solar unit and then pay less than a dollar a day to get clean energy to light up their homes or businesses.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Apprenticeships Put Americans on Path Back to Work

    Trying to get more people into the U.S. workforce, the Obama administration last year announced $175 million in grants towards apprenticeship programs. VOA White House correspondent Aru Pande went inside one training center outside of Washington that has gained national recognition for helping put people on the path to employment.
    Video

    Video New Material May Reduce Concussion Effects

    As the 2016 National Football League season reaches its summit at the Super Bowl this coming Sunday (2/7), scientists are trying to learn how to more effectively protect football players from dangerous and damaging concussions. Researchers at Cardiff and Cambridge Universities say their origami-based material may solve the problem. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Saudi Arabian Women's Sports Chip Away at Stereotypes

    Saudi Arabian female athletes say that sports are on the front line of busting traditions that quash women’s voices, both locally and internationally. In their hometown of Jeddah, a group of basketball players say that by connecting sports to health issues, they are encouraging women and girls to get out of their homes and participate in public life. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
    Video

    Video A Year Later, Fortunes Mixed for Syrians Forging New Lives in Berlin

    In April of last year, VOA followed the progress of six young Syrian refugees -- four brothers and their two friends -- as they made their way from Libya to Italy by boat, and eventually to Germany. Reporter Henry Ridgwell caught up with the refugees again in Berlin, as they struggle to forge new lives amid the turmoil of Europe's refugee crisis.
    Video

    Video Zika Virus May be Hard to Stop

    With the Zika virus spreading rapidly, the World Health Organization Monday declared Zika a global health emergency. As Alberto Pimienta reports, for many governments and experts, the worst is yet to come.