The clock is ticking
If the House of Representatives fails to pass any immigration reform bills before the new year it will be harder to do so afterward since lawmakers will be busy campaigning for reelection. According to USA Today, most will not want to work on such a hot issue if it means potentially losing votes. In the face of waning momentum for change, activists have been beseeching members of the House of Representatives to come together on legislation by Thanksgiving, or mid-December at the very latest.
Republican House leaders have been working on a piecemeal approach to reform, which includes smaller bills aimed at specific reform measures. Of the proposed ideas, five have cleared committees. House Speaker John Boehner could hold a series of immigration votes for these bills.
Though time constraints are an obstacle for immigration reform passing this year, another factor that may stall them are the current relations between Democrats and Republicans. According to Fox news, Republicans feel that the president was unwilling to negotiate during the fiscal crisis, leaving many of them less willing to work with him on immigration reform.
“Immigration reform is going to be a lot harder to accomplish than it was three weeks ago,” Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., who helped pass the Senate immigration bill, told Fox News Sunday.
Rubio also argued that the president is “trying to destroy the Republican” party. Despite the frustration Republicans feel, lawmakers all agree that immigration reform is necessary. Whether change comes from a sweeping reform movement or smaller bills targeting individual issues, both sides continue to discuss possible solutions.
“There will definitely have to be a cooling off period,” said Marshall Fitz, the director of immigration policy for the progressive Center for American Progress. “It certainly feels like the fever has not broken.”