Obama: 'No Reason' Not to Pass Immigration After Obamacare Disaster
On Thursday, President Barack Obama said the credibility that he lost after lying to the American people about Obamacare was not a reason to be skeptical about the comprehensive immigration reform legislation he has been pushing.
"If it comes to immigration reform, there is no reason not to do immigration reform," Obama said in response to a question in the White House briefing room about how the flaws in Obamacare would impact immigration efforts.
Obama made his comments at a press conference in which he admitted he "fumbled" the ball on the Obamacare rollout. The president suggested an administrative fix so that Americans who lost the health insurance plans he promised they could keep could now re-enroll in those programs. He also admitted he made promises to Americans about the law's impact while knowing they were inaccurate.
For instance, Obama conceded that he knew that roughly 5% of Americans would not be able to keep their insurance plans when he promised Americans in 2009, "If you like your healthcare plan, you'll be able to keep your healthcare plan, period."
Yet, a day after House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and other leaders announced they would not be going to conference on the Senate's immigration reform legislation, Obama continued to push for it, saying that there was "strong bipartisan" support for the bill and that he has met recently with clergy and the "business community" who support the bill.
The Congressional Budget Office determined the Senate's bill would drive down wages for working class Americans.
Obama said people "can always find an excuse" not to pass immigration reform, but Americans "shouldn't be looking for an excuse not to" pass comprehensive immigration reform. He said his "working assumption" about comprehensive immigration reform was that it would strengthen the border and allow the legal immigration system to work.
"Am I going to have to do some work to rebuild confidence around some of our initiatives? Yeah," Obama conceded. "I'm going to keep on pushing to make sure it's done."
A national survey by Pew Research found that 60% of Americans already opposed Obama on immigration before his speech admitting to the failures of Obamacare.