Reid calls Boehner’s bluff on immigration reform, sets August recess deadline

It takes Jorge Ramos from Univision and Fusion television nowadays to demonstrate to the D.C. media villagers how a real reporter should deal with the “Worst. Speaker. Ever.” Jorge Ramos Confronts John Boehner On Immigration:

Screenshot-6Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) was confronted about House inaction on immigration reform at his weekly press conference Thursday by the country’s most prominent Hispanic journalist, Jorge Ramos, in what proved to be a tense exchange.

“Mr. Speaker, we came here to ask you, why are you blocking immigration reform?” said Ramos, a TV anchor for the Spanish-language Univision and for Fusion.

Boehner responded, “Me? Blocking?” and laughed.

“Yes, you personally. Yeah, you could bring it to a vote and you haven’t,” Ramos said.

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[Boehner] placed the blame on President Barack Obama, saying he’s “ignor[ing]” the law and needs to build trust, citing his revisions to Obamacare.

Ramos, who frequently speaks out for immigration reform, wasn’t having any of it. “What does Obamacare have to do with immigration reform?” he demanded. “The Senate passed it almost a year ago and you haven’t moved on that. Many people are questioning your leadership and your vision on this.”

When the Speaker didn’t budge, saying there’s “nobody more interested” in passing immigration reform than he is, Ramos again pressed.

“You can do it. You haven’t done it,” he said. “You can do it, Mr. Speaker. You can do it and you really haven’t done it.”

Boehner replied: “I appreciate your opinion. Thank you.”

Jorge Ramos was no less relentless with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. Boehner Spars With Jorge Ramos:

The president has been under pressure from reform advocates to act unilaterally to ease the record number of deportations his administration has overseen. Democrats, in turn, have urged advocates to keep their attention on Congress.

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Ramos asked Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) at a press conference on the other side of the Capitol whether Democrats were giving supporters of reform false hope that a bill could pass and why he isn’t pressuring Obama to cut back on deportations.

“We waited 329 days; we’re willing to wait another six weeks, but at the end of six weeks, if something hasn’t been done, then there’s going to have to be a move made,” Reid said regarding deportations.

Here’s the “news” that came out of these duelling press conferences. Harry Reid called crybaby Boehner’s “we can’t trust the president” bluff — make the effective date of the legislation in 2017 after President Obama leaves office. Put up or shut up, crybaby. Harry Reid Offers 2017 Date for Immigration, Sets August:

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid offered to make 2017 the effective date for an immigration overhaul Thursday so Republicans no longer can use President Barack Obama as an excuse not to pass a bill — and set an August deadline for the House to act.

“Let’s pass immigration reform today. Make it take effect in 2017. Republicans don’t trust President Obama,” Reid said. “Let’s give them a chance to approve the bill under President Rand Paul or President Theodore Cruz. To be clear, delaying implementation of immigration reform is not my preference. But I feel so strongly that this bill needs to get done, I’m willing to show flexibility.”

House Speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, has repeatedly said that most Republicans want to act on immigration but don’t trust the president to enforce the law — a view he repeated again Thursday.

Reid warned that if Republicans don’t take the offer and pass a bill by August, President Barack Obama would go as far as he could to act on his own.

“If they don’t take our offer, then we’re going to have to go to the second step, which is not my preference,” Reid said. “Administrative rules cannot trump legislation but we’re going to have to do what we have to do as we proved with DACA,” he said, referring to Obama’s program to grant deportation relief and work permits to young illegal immigrants who came to the United States as children.

Reid’s offer of a 2017 effective date mirrors a suggestion that had been made by Sen. Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y.

In the press conference with Reid, Schumer, Majority Whip Richard J. Durbin, D-Ill., and Budget Chairwoman Patty Murray, D-Wash., Schumer suggested there was a six-week window for action after Republican primaries on June 10 and before the August break.

Schumer was asked about Republican response to 2017 compromise after the press conference and he said, “We haven’t gotten yes and we haven’t gotten a no.”

* * *

The senators’ threats come as House Republicans continued Thursday to demand a public display of trust-building from the president before they take up any changes to the immigration system.

Any executive actions from the administration are sure to only exacerbate those stated tensions and weaken the already slight chances that the House moves on any immigration bill this year.

* * *

Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., responded that the House would move forward on incremental steps were it not for the president’s insistence on a comprehensive bill.

This, of course, is total bullshit, because Cantor killed the ENLIST Act amendment to the House version of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) just this week.

There is no good faith on the part of the House GOP leadership. Jorge Ramos believes that immigration reform in this Congress, the “Worst. Congress, Ever.,” is not possible. He may be right.

While I appreciate the frustration that Ramos feels about getting  immigration reform done, taking out that frustration on the President — who has limited constitutional authority to take executive action and to enact administrative rules, a far cry from comprehensive immigration reform legislation — is a misguided effort.

All of that frustration and anger needs to be channelled into registering voters, getting them organized and mobilized, and actually turning them out to vote this November to throw the Tea-Publican obstructionists out of office (the “sleeping giant” of the Hispanic vote, often promised,  has yet to materialize). Give control of Congress to the Democrats, and send the TanMan, John Boehner, into retirement on a golf course in Florida.

Then let’s get down to getting comprehensive immigration reform done.

One response to “Reid calls Boehner’s bluff on immigration reform, sets August recess deadline

  1. Frances Perkins

    There is always another barrier just out of reach for anything the House Republicans claim they want. Every time Obama agrees with them, the barrier moves farther out.