House GOP: Congress just doesn’t have time to take up immigration reform this year


Posted by AzBlueMeanie:

The 112th Congress was the "less than do nothing" Congress, the least productive Congress in history. The 113th Congress is on pace to do even less than the "less than do nothing" Congress according to Pew Research earlier this year. And the 113th Congress announced it will be in session fewer days in 2014 (See, 2014 House Calendar).

Imagine my surprise (not) when House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy used a Friday news dump to announce that, "meh, Congress just doesn't have time to take up immigration reform this year." Here's an idea: less vacation days, more work, you lazy SOBs. ImmigrationVote Unlikely This Year, Lawmaker Says:

A top Republican lawmaker told protesters he met with in his home
district in California this week that the House of Representatives would
not have time this year to vote on any immigration measure

Representative Kevin McCarthy, the majority whip, told demonstrators in
his office in Bakersfield on Wednesday night that the 16 days remaining
on the House calendar in 2013 were too short a window for the House to
take up the complex issue
. But he said he was committed to moving on
immigration votes in the House next year. [When the House is working even fewer days.]

The comments were reported by Angelica Salas, the executive director of
the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles, who was one of
the protesters who occupied Mr. McCarthy’s office for 10 hours on
Wednesday. Mr. McCarthy came to the office to speak with the protesters
after 11 o’clock that night. His office confirmed the conversation on
Friday evening.

Mr. McCarthy’s comments cemented what lawmakers were already broadly
assuming on Capitol Hill. But they came after a week when an array of
groups who want to see a broad immigration overhaul intensified protests
across the country hoping to push Republican leaders to hold a vote
before the end of the year.

On Friday, 12 women blocked a street for an hour outside the Racine,
Wis., office of Representative Paul D. Ryan, a Republican.

This week, advocates from a coalition of women’s organizations blocked
intersections or protested in offices of House Republican lawmakers in
six other cities. Women were arrested at the state Republican Party headquarters in Bellevue, Wash., and in front of the Federal Building in Cleveland.

On Thursday, another coalition that includes the A.F.L.-C.I.O. and the
Service Employees International Union, two of the nation’s largest labor
organizations, announced a campaign focused on nine House Republicans,
whose districts include significant numbers of Latino voters. They said
they would call or visit thousands of voters in each district in coming
days to press the message that the lawmakers had failed to advance an
immigration bill.

The bottom line is if the G.O.P. doesn’t get right on immigration and
win Latino voters, they will cease being a party that can win a national
,” said Richard Trumka, president of the labor federation.

Frustration is rising among advocates, after momentum they felt they had
during a recess in August drifted away during the federal government
shutdown and the fiscal battles this fall. In June, the Senate passed a
broad bipartisan measure including a path to citizenship for immigrants
here illegally. Advocates hoped for a vote in the House on a bill that
could be paired with the Senate’s. But tense divisions remain among
House Republicans, with a core of conservatives rejecting any
legalization for illegal immigrants as amnesty.

In Bellevue on Thursday, more than 100 women entered the Republican
Party offices, and some sat down, singing and chanting. The police
arrested 33 women on charges of criminal trespassing.

“We wanted to tell the Republican leadership that inaction or a vote
against immigration reform is hurting women and families,” said Pramila
Jayapal, a co-chairwoman of We Belong Together, the group organizing the

Remember the Republican Party post-election "autopsy" report from earlier this year? Growth and Opportunity Project – Republican National Committee (.pdf). In a rare moment of policy making for a political committee, the
R.N.C. report called for abandonment of the party’s anti-immigration
stance, flatly declaring that “we must embrace and champion
comprehensive immigration reform.”

So how's that GOP rebranding working out for ya?


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