The debate on immigration reform kicks off in the House of Representatives Tuesday. But Republican Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart of Florida, a member of the House immigration working group, said Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi of California remains a primary barrier to bipartisan legislation.
“I think the problem we’re running into is Nancy Pelosi. I’m not quite sure if she wants a bill,” said Rep. Diaz-Balart on Monday’s The Daily Rundown.
Diaz-Balart said the only thing holding the House back from bipartisan agreement is health care.
“The issue that we’ve had is only one. We’ve only had one outstanding issue which is the health care issue,” he said.
“Should the taxpayer be stuck with the bill over the health care of 11 million people? Or should those folks who are going to be legalized, earn legalization, should they be responsible for their health care bill? That’s the issue we haven’t solved yet. I think once we do that we’ll have a bipartisan proposal,” Diaz-Balart said.
The Florida congressman asserted that if his colleagues in the House could solve that one issue, the deal would be done. Still, he admits actually passing a comprehensive bill in the House would be difficult. Nevertheless, he said he is optimistic.
The Washington Examiner recently reported that Speaker John Boehner plans to abide by the Hastert Rule requiring support from a majority of Republicans to bring a bill to the House floor.
Rep. Diaz-Balart said the bill needs support from both sides. “The right move is to make sure we have bipartisan support frankly,” he said. “I’m less concerned, you know, how many Republicans, how many Democrats. I think we have to have buy-in from both.”