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First Read Flash: Immigration divided

The fate of immigration reform?
House Speaker  John Boehner of Ohio, right, accompanied by Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas. Also pictured: House Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Va., House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy of Calif.  (Photo: AP file/J. Scott Applewhite)
House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, right, accompanied by Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas. Also pictured: House Majority Leader Eric...

The fate of immigration reform? Ask the House. Meetings and conferences were in no short supply Wednesday as the issue of immigration reform took center stage in Washington. House Republicans met in the basement of the Capitol to discuss their strategy going forward. NBC News reports that though "the 'lively' meeting didn’t yield any major breakthroughs among the deeply divided GOP conference, Republican leaders made clear in a statement afterward that any legislation that gives too much responsibility to the Obama administration is a non-starter in the House."

Meanwhile, President Obama met with the all-Democrat Congressional Hispanic Caucus in a roundtable discussion about the need for comprehensive reform. The Wall Street Journal reports that Hispanic representatives want the president to do more to push for passage of immigration reform.

Former President George W. Bush spoke at a naturalization ceremony and stated his support for overhauling the immigration system. While he did not offer up any policy details, Bush did indicate that he hopes for a “positive resolution to the debate” and that lawmakers “keep a benevolent spirit.” But the former President is unlikely to persuade House Republicans, many of whom have already spoken out publically as strongly against a comprehensive reform package

Forgive and forget? Do New Yorkers believe in second chances? Signs are pointing to yes. Eliot Spitzer, who resigned five years ago amid a prostitution scandal, announced his candidacy for New York City comptroller on Sunday.  The first poll out, conducted by NBC 4 New York/Wall Street Journal/Marist, shows 42 percent of registered Democrats supporting Spitzer. Compared to the 33% who support Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, the former governor already has a sizeable digit lead. He will need to gather nearly 4,000 signatures today for a deadline to appear on the ballot in September.

Former congressman Anthony Weiner, who resigned in 2011 after a Twitter scandal, is also showing strong support amongst voters in his bid for New York City Mayor. Real Clear Politics explains how the two campaigns will impact one another. It seems that New Yorkers may be willing to overlook these politicians’ prior wrongdoings.

Syria weapons delay. "The Obama administration’s month-old plan to arm opposition fighters in Syria has stalled as a result of congressional disagreements over whether and how to aid the rebels seeking to oust President Bashar al-Assad," the Washington Post reports. "To the growing frustration of those who won a long and contentious internal administration debate over the issue of supplying arms, members of the Senate and House intelligence committees remain divided on the proposal to send light weapons and ammunition to the rebel forces. Although administration officials initially estimated that supplies would be distributed 'within weeks,' delivery has not begun."