The Senate may be on the verge of passing a 1,200-page comprehensive reform bill, but the House is unlikely to even vote on it, a top Republican Congressman said Thursday.
Chief Deputy Whip Peter Roskam (R., Ill.) told reporters gathered at a National Review breakfast briefing that the House was unlikely to act on the Senate bill, in part because of its sheer size. “The House has no capacity to move that bill in its entirety,” he said. “It just won’t happen. It is a pipe dream to think that bill is going to go to the floor and be voted on.”
Roskam said House Republicans would likely craft their own immigration-reform package, comprised of “smaller components” that would focus primarily on border security — an “absolute priority” – but could ultimately include a pathway to citizenship. ”Once there is a level of confidence on a secure border, then you can begin to move forward on these other elements,” he said.
Roskam also questioned whether President Obama — his former colleague in the Illinois State Senate — was truly interested in signing an immigraiton bill into law, or simply wanted to use the issue as a political wedge against Republicans in the 2014 midterms, given the Democratic party’s desire to win back the House. “This is the most political White House that we’ve seen in a generation,” he said. “The question is, how much energy does the White House put in to actually getting a remedy? Or do they want to keep the issue for 2014?”