REFLECTIONS

Posted on July 14, 2013

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DO-NOTHING U.S. HOUSE

A comprehensive immigration bill passed the U.S. Senate after a month of debate, but many Republicans in the House are dead-set against any provision that offers a path to citizenship for the nation’s 11 million or so undocumented immigrants.

Without the pathway to citizenship, there is no immigration reform.

The Senate passed a budget bill for the first time in years.  But that was months ago, and members of the GOP have blocked efforts to allow House and Senate negotiators to come up with a compromise for the next fiscal year.

The Senate passed a farm bill which cut money for food stamps by $24 billion over 10 years. Republicans in the House amended the farm bill to cut an additional $24 billion of food stamp money. Both Democrats and moderate Republicans voted against this bill and it did not pass.

Speaker John Boehner has power to forge a pro-immigration bill or farm bill with a coalition of Democrats and moderate Republicans to the finish line, but he is unwilling to stick his neck out which would provoke a revolt from the tea party caucus.

Thus, another national crisis looms on a bill to raise the government’s borrowing limit even after the Senate passed a budget bill. And a battle looms on the budget.

The common thread is a rejection of compromise and GOP antagonism to President Obama at every turn. One of the few measures to pass the House is a repeal of the president’s healthcare plan 38 times, even though such measures are guaranteed to die in the Senate or vetoed by the president.

The last six months have been awful, but it’s not too late for the House to do better. Approving immigration reform would be a good place to start.

Also, voters need to eliminate obstructionist House members at the polls in 2014.

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