President Obama has a crowded second term agenda. It includes rolling out his signature health care law, keeping the government running, immigration reform, and a renewed push for Congress to change current gun laws.
Democratic Rep. Chris Van Hollen put the onus on the GOP for holding back the President’s agenda.
“Whether it’s on gun safety legislation and universal background checks, whether it’s comprehensive immigration reform, the president is on the side of the country and you’ve got the House of Representatives, the Tea Party caucus, tying everything down,” Van Hollen said on Wednesday.
The Maryland Democrat used the immigration bill that already passed the Senate as an example of the Tea Party Caucus blocking legislation supported by a majority of Congress and Americans. “If the people’s House, if this House had a vote today on comprehensive immigration reform, absolutely, it would pass. It would be a law of the land within the next 48 hours,” he said.
Republicans in the House plan to vote on a bill to keep the government funded, but it will be tied to a measure to defund Obamacare. Van Hollen says it is symptomatic of a small faction ruling the House. “They are now taking the position as you said, that, unless you turn the health insurance –unless you turn health care back to the health insurance industry, they’re going to shut down the United States government or next they’re going to make sure we don’t pay our bills on time,” Van Hollen said.