As House Republicans continue to focus on separate border security and enforcement bills instead of the Senate’s comprehensive approach to immigration, some in the mainstream media are acknowledging that the political momentum behind the Senate bill is fading.
No Sunday show panel better demonstrated the mainstream media’s newfound understanding that a Gang of Eight-style bill would not likely pass the House than that on Meet The Press this weekend. There, NBC News chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd and chief foreign affairs correspondent Andrea Mitchell agreed the bill was likely dead on arrival in the House, and that President Barack Obama’s White House seems to agree.
“The White House, they had been so confident they were going to sign immigration reform this year, for the first time I’m hearing that there is some doubt seeping in, that they think maybe the House won’t act,” Todd said.
“What they need is, they need something to sort of force Boehner like at the last minute bring it to the floor the same way the fiscal cliff deal happened. The problem is there is no trigger at the end of the year, there isn’t the end of this Congress there isn’t this. So I don’t know how this happens at the end of this year and suddenly now the White House doesn’t see a path.”
Host David Gregory interjected at that point to agree that the White House does not seem to have the political capital to get this bill passed in the House as Republicans work to move past the Gang of Eight. “Fires all around them, no real second-term agenda when they have to deal with all these problems,” Gregory said.
Mitchell added that immigration reform “was going to be the one thing they could have pointed to” as a policy success.
“And I think that conversation with John Boehner and the president, the president doesn’t have a whole well of trust in Boehner saying, you know, hang with me, I can get this done by the end of the summer,” Mitchell said. “Boehner still doesn’t have the support and you heard what Congressman Labrador has been saying, they don’t have a Marco Rubio on the House side who can try to work around this and bring it together.”
Todd jumped back in at that point to note that former Vice Presidential candidate and House Budget Committee chairman Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) was slated to be the House version of Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL). “It was supposed to be Paul Ryan,” Todd said.
Mitchell fired back at Todd about Ryan: “He’s gone silent.”