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Jewish World Review
Sept. 17, 2013/ 13 Tishrei, 5774
Clock ticking, house immigration reform stuck in neutral
Remember the Gang of Seven? It's the House bipartisan immigration reform working group -- used to be the Gang of Eight before Republican Rep. Raul Labrador quit in frustration -- and it has been rumored for months to be on the verge of releasing a comprehensive reform bill.
It still hasn't happened. And it's unlikely to happen anytime soon.
The group got almost nothing done during the August recess; the members barely kept in touch with each other. And then the concerns some Republican Gang members heard at town hall meetings convinced them that the proposal's security and enforcement measures must be strengthened before GOP colleagues would even consider them.
"What can we do to satisfy our guys that there is going to be border security?" asks one pro-reform Republican. The answer is not clear.
By definition, the GOP Gang members -- Reps. John Carter and Sam Johnson of Texas, plus Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart of Florida -- are the Republicans most open to crafting a comprehensive measure. If they can't come up with something that would appeal to more than a handful of their fellow Republicans, then things don't look good.
The job is harder now than it was in the spring. Since the Gang began work, Republican distrust of President Obama, already high, has grown considerably. When GOP lawmakers see the president enforcing parts of Obamacare while ignoring others; when they see him acting unilaterally on issues (the environment is one example) that should be the business of Congress; when they see him threaten to go around lawmakers on questions as diverse as immigration and war in Syria -- all those things make it harder for Republicans to vote for any measure that depends on the president to enforce it. Today, Republicans are even less inclined to go along with Obama than they were in June.
Most of the pressure to produce a bill seems to have disappeared. Recently, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor sent Republican members an agenda for September and October. The House will work on a continuing resolution to fund the government, Cantor said. It will work on a measure to extend the debt limit. On a bill to reform the food stamp system. On Obamacare. And, of course, on Syria.
Only after touching on all those topics did Cantor mention immigration. "The Judiciary and Homeland Security committees have produced a number of specific bills which the House may begin considering this fall," Cantor wrote. "Before we consider any other reforms, it is important that we pass legislation securing our borders and providing enforcement mechanisms to our law enforcement officials."
Look at the qualifiers: The House "may" begin considering some bills -- then again, maybe not -- but it must actually pass border security and enforcement measures before any other proposals can even be taken up. Cantor left himself room to do anything, but plenty of reason to do nothing.
Then there's the problem of time. The House will of course be involved in whatever happens in Syria, but much more time-consuming will be the fight over a funding resolution. Republicans are deeply divided about it -- Speaker John Boehner and Cantor had to retreat from a proposed continuing resolution this week in the face of conservative opposition. Finding a way forward will take time. And that's before the House gets to the question of the debt limit.
Given all that, Cantor indicated the House might cancel a recess scheduled for the week of Sept. 23. That will give lawmakers a little more breathing room.
But even if the House had all the time in the world, and an absolutely empty calendar, immigration reform would still be in deep, deep trouble. It's not failing because Congress doesn't have time to do it. It's failing because Congress cannot agree on how to do it.
As reform supporters envisioned it, this was to be the moment Washington debated an immigration bill widely seen as the signature achievement of President Obama's second term. Now, it's going nowhere fast. The president is distracted. And those Republicans who believe a Senate-style comprehensive reform measure is essential to improving the GOP's prospects with Hispanic voters are now a mostly silent minority.
Immigration reform will not disappear as an issue; its advocates in both parties are organized, well-funded, and determined. But the energy that just a few months ago seemed to be pushing reform inexorably ahead now appears completely dissipated. And there seems little chance it will come back, at least this year.
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09/10/13 How do we tell good guys from bad in Syrian opposition?
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09/03/13 Why many Republicans won't support Obama on Syria attack
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08/20/13 Fractured GOP struggles to expose Obama's weakness
08/13/13 No easy path for divided GOP in ObamaCare fight
08/06/13 Libs gear up for ObamaCare fight
07/30/13 Are Republicans fooling themselves about ObamaCare?
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07/09/13 White House determined to start ObamaCare money flow
07/02/13 Rubio's immigration strategy worked brilliantly, but disappointed many
06/25/13 Rise in illegal crossing roils immigration debate
06/18/13 Immigration debate is all about border security
06/11/13 On judges, Obama tells GOP: Don't do unto me as I did unto you
06/03/13 Looking to 2016, Iowa GOP gets excited about Walker
05/28/13 What is the real number of illegal border crossings?
05/21/13 Immigration fight moves to house with deep divide
05/14/13 Senate skips details in rush to pass immigration bill
05/07/13 Winning Hispanic vote won't be enough for GOP
04/30/13 Loopholes put many illegal immigrants on fast track to citizenship
04/14/13 New data on border crossings could change immigration debate
04/09/13 Will immigration reform kill Rubio's presidential chances?
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03/26/13 Is the border secure? This administration has no idea
03/19/13 Don't blame campaign aides for GOP's woes
03/12/13 Obama resists simple fixes for sequestration cuts
03/05/13 Obama vowed to break GOP fever --- but have they broken his?
02/26/13 Budget hawks question doomsday scenarios
02/12/13 Legalization-first could scuttle immigration plan
02/05/13 GOP aims to ease bloodshed in 2016 primary debates
01/29/13 In some GOP circles, reform is already underway
01/22/13 Once a critic of deficits, Obama now goes for broke
01/15/13 Yes, defense spending should be cut --- in the right way
01/08/13 Republicans bet on stronger hand in spending fight
01/03/13 For Obama, the economy never comes first
12/26/12 Anxiety rises as Americans face start of ObamaCare
12/18/12 Get ready for the costs and chaos of Obamacare
12/11/12 Obama ups bid as GOP looks for way out of crisis
12/04/12 Will Republicans support yet another Bush for president?
11/28/12 Hispanics favor Dems, but didn't decide election
11/20/12 Governors take power as balance shifts inside GOP
11/13/12 In 2016, GOP needs candidate voters believe in
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10/23/12 Entering stretch, Obama campaign running on empty
10/16/12 Will Romney push Libya issue or opt for caution?
10/12/12Romney should expose irs as enforcer of ObamaCare
10/03/12 Obama's problems multiply as GOP frets over Romney
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08/07/12 Heeding critics, Romney finally sharpens pitch for long run
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07/10/12 Should Rmney apologize for RomneyCare?
07/03/12 Roberts' dodge at heart of ObamaCare decision
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06/19/12 Obama suffers amnesia about first year as president
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06/05/12 Two books, two standards for Obama, Bush
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05/01/12 Romney braces for 'vast left-wing conspiracy'
04/24/12 Obama faces defeat on pipeline as Dems defect
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03/27/12 Obama headed for defeat in pipeline fight
03/20/12 Why do island territories play key role in GOP race?
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03/06/12 In politics fight, Breitbart knew culture is key
02/27/12 Hollywood makes 'Game Change' into Sarah Palin story
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10/04/11 Cain's 9-9-9 plan sounds good, but will it work?
09/27/11 Media bias 101
09/20/11 Obama plagued by Dems' ingratitude
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09/06/11 Left paints the campaign as a religious war
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08/24/11 GOP operatives fear lasting Ron Paul problem
08/16/11 Michele Bachmann and the submissive question
08/09/11 Obama partisans ignore facts when bashing Bush
08/02/11 When partisans fling charges of partisanship
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07/19/11 Book casts doubt on Obama healthcare story
07/12/11 Controversial budget law begins to pay off
07/04/11 Anti-Mormon bias persists, notably among Dems
06/27/11 Huntsman tries McCain model, but he's no John McCain
06/06/11 Amid media circus, Palin lays out policy positions
05/30/11 GOP condemns Dems' breathtaking refusal to produce budget
05/24/11 Eye-for-an-eye filibuster stops Democratic nominee
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05/10/11 Bin Laden coup won't help Obama in budget fight
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04/11/11 Reforming entitlements is key to a strong military
04/05/11 Jihadis Who Killed Americans Get U.S. Support in Libya
04/04/11 Unions deploy money and muscle in Battle of Wisconsin
03/30/11 Labor fight in Wisconsin is far from over
03/28/11 Obama fails to grasp the gravity of going to war
03/21/11 Union equates lavish benefits to black civil rights
03/15/11 GOP should heed lesson of 1991: No guts, no glory
03/14/11 GOP focuses on NPR's subsidies, not its politics
03/08/11 While Obama seeks new ideas, his bureaucrats stifle them
02/28/11 Why the GOP shouldn't fear a government shutdown
02/22/11 In Hawaii, a dispiriting glimpse of one-party rule
02/21/11 Obama team uses slippery words to tout budget
02/15/11 Myth and memory: The battle over Reagan's legacy
02/07/11 Invoking Reagan, Palin says this is a time for choosing again
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01/24/11 House GOP begins long drive to dismantle Obamacare
01/17/11 GOP gears up again to strip NPR of federal funds
01/10/11 To House GOP, illegal immigration is a jobs issue
01/03/11 Obamacare mess is legacy of Dems' moment of power
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12/20/10 Dems are earmark junkies but GOP goes straight
12/13/10 Needed: A more presidential Palin
12/06/10 With Dems in a funk, Obama charts a new course
11/29/10 Obama's poll numbers point to his defeat in 2012
11/22/10 Holder ignored risks of civilian terror trials
11/16/10 Dems love facts and science --- except when they don't
11/08/10 Obama, new GOP lawmakers are on collision course
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10/26/10 If Dems lose, Obama will blame everyone but himself
10/19/10 Profligate Congress should read its own bills
10/13/10 Why Big Labor couldn't match Glenn Beck's rally
10/11/10 Trash-talking Democrat faces defeat in Florida
10/05/10 A GOP unknown in striking distance of Barney Frank
09/28/10 Administration inflates green-jobs numbers
09/20/10 In Delaware, GOP should target Dems, not O'Donnell
09/14/10 GOP Insiders Wary of Landslide Predictions
08/31/10 For Obamacare supporters, judgment day approaches
08/23/10 Obama has himself to blame for Muslim problem
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07/26/10 GOP spoiling for fight over Berwick appointment
07/20/10 How long will the public tolerate Afghan war?
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07/02/10 Legal complaint against Gore is detailed, credible
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06/21/10 Who told Obama drilling is absolutely safe?
06/14/10 Billions for green jobs, whatever they are
06/07/10 Sestak a no-go for any job. So what was the deal?
05/31/10 As economic worries worsen, White House puts on the glitz
05/25/10 GOP dilemma: Fight Kagan, or go along?
05/11/10 Enforcing nation's immigration laws would be a bargain
05/03/10 How Obama could lose Arizona immigration battle
04/27/10 What's behind the anti-Tea Party hate narrative?
04/20/10 As government expands, beware the post-office example
04/19/10 Who wins in 2010? Good luck reading tea leaves
04/12/10 GOP Obamacare strategy: Try repeal, then cut
04/05/10 Obamacare was mainly aimed at redistributing wealth
03/30/10 Message to Dems: People still don't like Obamacare
03/23/10 The coming consequences of Obamacare
03/16/10 Marco Rubio and the Republicans who love him
03/15/10 GOP hopes town halls take health care off table
03/08/10 Dems turn risky health vote into manhood contest
03/01/10 Why Obama defies the public on health care
02/22/10 South Carolina mulls 2012: Romney? Palin? Huck?
02/16/10 GOP winning war over Miranda rights for terrorists
02/09/10 Who are the 300 terrorists held in U.S. prisons?
02/02/10 Is Obama dissatisfied with being president?
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01/12/10 Now the lawmakers are figuring out what they didn't know
01/05/10 GOP deserves blame for Democratic excesses
12/29/09 Dems' dreams of a blue West begin to turn red
12/22/09 Why Dems push health care, even if it kills them
11/30/09 Dems' kamikaze mission: Health care by New Year's
11/23/09 Why it's a mistake to bring Gitmo prisoners here
11/16/09 Dems' slick fix: $210 billion of fiscal restraint
11/10/09 Obama can't be community organizer for the world
11/02/09 At key moment, Obama leaves health post unfilled
10/26/09 Fierce urgency' for jobs, not health care
10/12/09 Facts hurt Jennings in youth sex controversy
10/05/09 Amid terror threat, Dems chip away at Patriot Act
09/27/09 In Afghanistan, let U.S. troops be warriors
09/21/09 Under fire, Democrats abandon ACORN in drove
09/14/09 Dems stifle Republican health care plans
09/08/09 For Dems, a serious Charlie Rangel problem
09/07/09 Obama's speech: Wrong setting for a sales job
09/01/09 What happened to the antiwar movement?
08/24/09 Why Dems may jam through health care plan
08/17/09 GOP thinks the unthinkable: Victory in 2010
08/10/09 The empty words of a journalist turned flack
08/03/09 Probe finds new clues in AmeriCorps IG scandal
07/27/09 Obamacare haunted by unkept promises of stimulus
07/20/09 Why the GOP failed the Sotomayor test
07/13/09 What the GOPers will ask Sotomayor
06/29/09 Serious questions remain for Mark Sanford
06/22/09 How GOPers can crack the AmeriCorps scandal
06/16/09 Worried about Sotomayor? Consider Andre Davis
06/08/09 Can Mitch Daniels save the GOP?
06/01/09 When the Dems derailed a Latino nominee
05/26/09 Why the GOP will defeat Obama on healthcare
05/19/09 Rosy report can't hide stimulus problems
05/12/09 The Reagan legacy is the man himself
05/05/09 Sen. Specter, meet your new friends
04/27/09 Ted Olson: ‘Torture' probes will never end
04/20/09 Who's Laughing at the Axis of Evil today?
04/14/09 Congress needs Google to track stimulus money
04/06/09 Beyond AIG: A bill to let Big Government set your salary
03/30/09 On Spending and the Deficit, McCain Was Right
03/24/09 It's Obama's crisis now
03/17/09: Geithner-Obama economics: A joke that's not funny
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