WASHINGTON, D.C. — The White House has delayed executive amnesty until after the elections and set another deadline for unilateral action before the end of the year, leaving Congress with the ability to revive the immigration reform debate after the November elections during the lame duck session.
“The president stated he’s going to do something administratively unless there is legislative action taken. It appears to me, based on what we have been told and what I see: Republicans still have a chance to do something — they complain, they plead, they stomp, ‘Why should the president do anything administratively. Let’s do it legislatively.’ They’ll have another chance to do it legislatively,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Tuesday.
“If they don’t, I hope the president goes real big and does something administratively. I believe he has the authority to do it,” he said.
With another chance to move on immigration, the fact that the President — who many in the House GOP conference have said they do not trust to enact the law as written — will remain in the White House could still be a sticking point to getting immigration reform done in the House after the November elections.
“Even if we had our way with the perfect bill, I just don’t trust what he would do with it because he demonstrates over and over, with good laws we already have in place he ignores the important things we need to do and adds to is ad libs,” Republican Rep. John Fleming (R-LA) told Breitbart News Tuesday. “Unless this president demonstrates a whole new Obama, I can’t see working with him.”
Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL), who was heavily involved in efforts to achieve immigration reform in the House earlier this year, said that the lame duck simply does not offer enough space for such a complicated issue.
“No, not in the lame duck,” he said when Breitbart News asked him about the prospect of immigration reform after the midterm elections and before the end of the year.
“You know I’m committed to get it done, but this is too big, too controversial to do in a lame duck,” Diaz-Balart said Tuesday. “I just think this is the kind of thing that to get it done you are going to have to get some bipartisan buy in and I just have never seen anything really big, substantive and controversial get done in the lame duck, since I’ve been here at least. I’m sure it has before, I just think this is too big, too controversial. I think the American people need to feel that we are not trying to do something that is behind their backs.”
Rep. Jeff Denham (R-CA), on the other hand said he would be in favor of moving forward with immigration during the lame duck session.
“Yes. Absolutely I want it to. As soon as we can bring it up,” Denham said.
One House Democrat expressed hope for action on immigration reform in the House before the end of the year but said that a lot of it likely will depend on the outcome of the elections in November and what the Congress will look like in the next term.
Still House Speaker John Boehner has said a number of times that lawmakers simply do not trust Obama enough to move forward, reiterating that contention in June shortly after Obama announced his intention to move forward with executive amnesty alone.
“In our conversation last week, I told the president what I have been telling him for months: the American people and their elected officials don’t trust him to enforce the law as written. Until that changes, it is going to be difficult to make progress on this issue. The crisis at our southern border reminds us all of the critical importance of fixing our broken immigration system. It is sad and disappointing that – faced with this challenge – President Obama won’t work with us, but is instead intent on going it alone with executive orders that can’t and won’t fix these problems,” Boehner said, going on to blame Obama’s earlier executive amnesty for childhood arrivals on the border crisis.