On Thursday, President Obama took to the White House podium to triumphantly announce the end of the government shutdown. In doing so, he proclaimed that he wanted to push forward with other legislative priorities, including a budget, immigration reform, and the long-stalled pork-laden farm bill.
“[I]n the coming days and weeks, we should sit down and pursue a balanced approach to a responsible budget, a budget that grows our economy faster and shrinks our long-term deficits further,” Obama stated. Historically, “balanced” has been code for tax increases.
Obama then pushed on to immigration reform: “Number two. We should finish the job of fixing our broken immigration system.” Naturally, he blamed the Republican House for stalling his preferred immigration bill.
Finally, Obama called for the farm bill to be passed: “Number three. We should pass a farm bill, one that American farmers and ranchers can depend on, one that protects vulnerable children and adults in times of need, one that gives rural communities opportunities to grow and the long-term certainty that they deserve.” And, disingenuously, he called for negotiations.
On Wednesday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) echoed Obama, saying, “I look forward to the next venture, which is making sure we do immigration reform.” On Thursday, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said that Obama wanted immigration reform “more than anything else” during his second term. Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-CA) said that he trusted that Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) would cave on immigration: “Once again, the speaker for the majority party is going to be placed in a position of deciding whether he’s going to put country before party and get something done. We just need a few courageous Republicans to stand up and say they’re ready.”
Republicans, however, pushed back. “It’s not going to happen this year,” said Rep. Raul Labrador (R-ID). “After the way the president acted over the last two or three weeks where he would refuse to talk to the speaker of the House…they’re not going to get immigration reform. That’s done.”
Ben Shapiro is Editor-At-Large of Breitbart News and author of the New York Times bestseller “Bullies: How the Left’s Culture of Fear and Intimidation Silences America” (Threshold Editions, January 8, 2013).