The budget deal that Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) announced on Tuesday may pave the way for a vote on comprehensive immigration reform in the first months of the 2014 Congress.
Last week, The Hill reported that amnesty advocates and big-business and high-tech lobbyists who want comprehensive immigration reform wanted nothing more than a budget deal that would prevent another government shutdown. Such a budget deal would pave the way for legislation that the Congressional Budget Office predicts will lower the wages of working-class Americans.
“Few in Washington want to see House and Senate negotiators strike a budget deal more than advocates for immigration reform,” The Hill wrote. “An agreement would clear the legislative calendar in the New Year, and combined with an expected push from President Obama in his State of the Union address, immigration reform could have the moment its advocates have been waiting for.”
Ryan, the House Budget Committee chairman, has been a strong Republican advocate for comprehensive immigration reform. Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL), who has said his “Republican friends” have told him they want comprehensive immigration reform in everything but name only, said Ryan was his “ally” in his quest for amnesty. Ryan also was one of the first lawmakers to suggest that House Republicans could pass immigration reform through piecemeal bills.
As Breitbart News reported, when the House Republican leadership said they would not go to conference on the exact Senate bill, Ryan did not even join them in making such a pronouncement. House Republicans have always left the door open to go to conference on various piecemeal bills, though.
President Barack Obama has indicated he would be okay with comprehensive immigration reform being broken up into pieces so long as all of the pieces — including the pathway to citizenship provision — are passed.