Congress returns this week with immigration reform at the top of the House’s agenda. Republicans remain deeply split with centrist groups working to boost the Senate bill as conservatives remain opposed to a path for citizenship for illegal immigrants.
The White House may have taken a backseat during the Senate’s debate of the bill, but that won’t continue as the focus moves to the House. The administration plans pushes in states with large Latino populations and working with business and evangelical groups that support the bipartisan plan, but there’s creeping doubt about the bill’s chances the longer the issue drags on. The most likely options now? Move forward with a large bill without the path to citizenship, pass a series of small bills and try to move toward conference, or let the issue languish past the August recess.
In a Daily Rundown web exclusive, host Chuck Todd discussed immigration’s future with Monday’s gaggle – Buzzfeed’s John Stanton, the Center for American Progress’ Aisha Moodie-Mills, and Latino Partnership for Conservative Principle’s Alfonso Aguilar.
Stanton said he thinks the House may tackle a border bill and “nibble around the edges,” but nothing that could be sent to conference, putting House Speaker John Boehner in a tough position.
“The fact that the president is going out on the road is the biggest signal that they understand that’s reality now,” said Stanton. “John Boehner is stuck. He came out in support of the bill, and as we saw with the Farm Bill, that doesn’t mean much anymore.”
Aguilar said he’s more hopeful that a compromise with conservatives can be reached on an eventual path to citizenship, pointing to Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte of Virginia and immigration subcommittee Chairman Trey Gowdy of South Carolina.
“I think conservatives hold the key to making this happen,” said Aguilar.
Moodie-Mills said Republicans are “tone deaf that they’re on their way to their own political demise” with Latino voters if they can’t move forward with a bill.
Watch the full conversation above.