Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has ruled out immigration reform this Congress.
Speaking to reporters at a Thursday press conference McConnell pointed to President Obama’s November executive amnesty as the primary reason why immigration reform is off the table until after the 2016 presidential election.
“Not this Congress,” McConnell said of the possibility of bipartisan immigration reform. “I think when the president took the action he did, after the 2014 election, he pretty much made it impossible for us to go forward with immigration reform this Congress.”
The Kentucky lawmaker argued that the February injunction put in place by a federal district judge, halting the executive amnesty programs — Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) and expanded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals — supports Republicans’ objections to Obama’s actions.
“The concern that we expressed about that I think was validated by the fact that he is currently under a court order not to go forward with what he decided to do. And so the atmosphere for dealing with that issue in the wake of what he did is not appropriate to get the kind of immigration reform that we probably need to address,” he said.
McConnell did sound a positive note about the potential for immigration reform next Congress.
“Hopefully in the next Congress we’ll do it, where we’ll have for sure a different president,” he said.