The House of Representatives will not tackle the issue of overhauling the nation’s immigration laws before the annual August recess — and it’s likely that any resolution will come after what could be a long, protracted fight over raising the nation’s debt ceiling.
A House GOP aide said that while it could move on its piece-by-piece approach to immigration legislation, a final resolution — an “end game” to the immigration debate — probably won’t come before the end of the year.
The delay raises new questions about the likelihood of an immigration reform bill becoming law by the end of this year, given both time constraints and whether this fall’s partisan squabbles over budget issues will affect immigration legislation.
The National Journal last weekend reported on House Republicans’ playbook for negotiations with President Barack Obama over raising the nation’s debt limit. The nation’s federal budget deficit is falling rapidly, according to the Congressional Budget Office, but Republicans are prepared to demand some of the most strict concessions in order to enact a short-term debt ceiling hike.
The debt-ceiling playbook is based on the budget of Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.). For a long-term debt ceiling increase, for example, Republicans are going to demand a plan to privatize Medicare — the most controversial aspect of the Ryan budget. For even a short-term increase, they’ll ask that Social Security and/or Medicare be means-tested.
If Republicans and House Speaker John Boehner stick to this planned strategy, it will obviously run into some huge resistance from both House and Senate Democrats and Obama, who has said he won’t negotiate again over raising the debt ceiling.
This could make for a long fight in September and October — the debt ceiling needs to be raised, most likely, by sometime in November. And it could distract the House when it returns from its summer recess.
In a joint statement released after their meeting on immigration Wednesday, House GOP leaders revealed some disconnect as to what aspects of immigration legislation they would support.
“Today House Republicans affirmed that rather than take up the flawed legislation rushed through the Senate, House committees will continue their work on a step-by-step, common-sense approach to fixing what has long been a broken system. The American people want our border secured, our laws enforced, and the problems in our immigration system fixed to strengthen our economy,” they said in the statement.
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.