Washington — This morning, U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett met with Democratic Senate leaders from the Gang of Eight who authored the immigration reform legislation that passed in the U.S. Senate in June. As the Nation’s attention is focused on Republicans in the House of Representatives, the New York Times’ Editorial Board argues that House Republicans should embrace the Senate bill that includes many of their fundamental priorities. For example, the bill would cut almost $900 billion from the deficit over two decades as determined by the Congressional Budget Office. Comprehensive immigration reform will help economic growth and raise the Nation’s GDP. A package that includes a pathway to citizenship provides a pathway to economic growth for our country.
Excerpts from the article below.
NYT: Immigration in the House [excerpts]
July 7, 2013
Now that the Senate has passed its version of reform — a comprehensive bill with a long but real citizenship path — the ball is in the House. It might be stuck there: the speaker, John Boehner, has ruled out voting on the Senate bill, or on any immigration bill not supported by the majority of his caucus. That is a recipe for failure, but the House has nothing else to offer right now, no other solutions to match the scale of the problem.
If only enough House Republicans could see that the bill is one that embraces many of their own priorities. It shrinks the deficit and satisfies big-business interests with more visas for agricultural and information-technology workers. It ushers millions of shadow workers into the higher-earning, taxpaying, aboveground economy, a sure recipe for jobs and growth. And it heaps billions on defense contractors to supply the surveillance tools and weaponry to fortify the border.
The coalition behind comprehensive reform is large. It includes evangelicals and Catholics, law-enforcement and business groups, and Republicans like Jeb Bush and former President George W. Bush. Immigrant-rights advocates and Democrats are solidly lined up, too, even those who want a shorter path to citizenship and less money thrown at the border buildup.
Mr. Boehner has a choice. He can let reform go forward with bipartisan support — House Republicans and Democrats together could pass a good bill. This would infuriate the hotheads in his caucus but save the Republican Party from itself. Or he can stand back and let his party kill reform. As the issue festers, a nation is watching to see whether the Republicans can work out their Steve King problem and do something difficult for their own good, and the country’s.