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No. 3 House Republican Rules Out Immigration Vote This Year

Border of US And Mexico

Echoing comments from other quarters, the third-ranking Republican in the House says it’s unlikely that the House will take up immigration reform this year:

A top Republican lawmaker told protesters he met with in his home district in California this week that the House of Representatives would not have time this year to vote on any immigration measure.

Representative Kevin McCarthy, the majority whip, told demonstrators in his office in Bakersfield on Wednesday night that the 16 days remaining on the House calendar in 2013 were too short a window for the House to take up the complex issue. But he said he was committed to moving on immigration votes in the House next year.

The comments were reported by Angelica Salas, the executive director of the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles, who was one of the protesters who occupied Mr. McCarthy’s office for 10 hours on Wednesday. Mr. McCarthy came to the office to speak with the protesters after 11 o’clock that night. His office confirmed the conversation on Friday evening.

Mr. McCarthy’s comments cemented what lawmakers were already broadly assuming on Capitol Hill. But they came after a week when an array of groups who want to see a broad immigration overhaul intensified protests across the country hoping to push Republican leaders to hold a vote before the end of the year.

As I’ve said before, there remains the possibility that we’ll see some kind of movement on this issue from the House GOP, but it’s not likely to come until some point much later in 2014 if it comes at all. To put it simply, it’s going to be hard to get House Republicans to vote in favor of immigration reform as long as the threat of a primary challenge is hanging over their heads. The deeper we get into next year, once both the filing deadlines for primary challenges and the primaries themselves have passed for most of the country, then perhaps we’ll see something of substance from the House. Until then, I suppose the best advice one can give to those groups trying to push the GOP in a sane direction on this issue to keep up the pressure. There will be a window of opportunity for action coming and, just maybe, they’ll be able to accomplish something worthwhile.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. al-Ameda says:

    Representative Kevin McCarthy, the majority whip, told demonstrators in his office in Bakersfield on Wednesday night that the 16 days remaining on the House calendar in 2013 were too short a window for the House to take up the complex issue. But he said he was committed to moving on immigration votes in the House next year.

    The fact that 16 days remain on the calendar has nothing to do with this at all. Unless that bill proposed to round up and deport 12 million illegals, as well as walling (or fencing) in our border from Californai to Texas, there is no chance Republicans were going take it up.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  2. An Interested Party says:

    Republicans need to be punished in a few more elections before they come around and do the sensible thing on immigration reform…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  3. stonetools says:

    Seriously, did anybody think the House was going to pass immigration this year?
    Let me make a prediction: it won’t pass immigration next year, either.
    Comprehensive immigration reform will not happen until the Democrats regain the House. That’s the way it’s going to be.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  4. PJ says:

    In 2014, Democrats will run on Immigration reform.
    In 2014, Republicans will continue to drink from the poisoned well of racism and xenophobia.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  5. superdestroyer says:

    @An Interested Party:

    How is committing demographic suicide the sensible thing? How is lower the quality of life of the most loyal Republican voters doing the sensible thing? HOw is turning the U.S. into a one party state the sensible thing?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

  6. An Interested Party says:

    How is committing demographic suicide the sensible thing? How is lower the quality of life of the most loyal Republican voters doing the sensible thing? HOw is turning the U.S. into a one party state the sensible thing?

    Putting aside your delusional ranting about the browning of America for a moment…politicians need votes to get elected…doing things that the majority of people don’t like won’t allow politicians to get elected…it really is quite simple…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  7. JohnMcC says:

    I see (wikipedia) that Congressman McCarthy’s home county (Kern Co) is only 48.5% latino. So why should he try to squeeze ‘immigration reform’ through the House when he has the opportunity to pass 40+ repeal-Obamacare bills? It’s not as if he “represents” anyone who really cares about ‘immigration reform’, eh?

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