Obama Downplaying Alternative Immigration Plan

Tuesday, 19 Feb 2013 06:28 PM

 

Share:
A    A   |
   Email Us   |
   Print   |
   Forward Article  |
  Copy Shortlink

The White House is seeking to keep delicate immigration negotiations on track, as a key Republican senator distances himself further from a draft bill President Barack Obama's aides are readying in case congressional talks crumble.

Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio's office says Obama's plan injected additional partisanship into an "already difficult process." The White House, following the weekend leak of its draft legislation, insists the president wants the bipartisan Senate group Rubio is a member of to propose its own bill instead.

Senate aides say privately that bipartisan negotiations are in a good place and do not feel as though the disclosure of Obama's draft bill would disrupt their process. In fact, Obama's backup bill could end up spurring GOP lawmakers to rally behind a similar congressional plan.

On Monday, The White House downplayed its draft proposal as merely a backup plan if lawmakers don't come up with an immigration overhaul of their own.

White House chief of staff Denis McDonough said Sunday that President Barack Obama wants to "be prepared" in case the small bipartisan group of senators fails to devise a plan for the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants in the United States. In response, lawmakers assured the White House they are working on their own plan — and warned that Obama would be heading toward failure if the White House gets ahead of them.

"We will be prepared with our own plan if these ongoing talks between Republicans and Democrats up on Capitol Hill break down," McDonough said, adding he's optimistic they would not crumble.

But he was equally realistic about the fierce partisanship on Capitol Hill.

"Well, let's make sure that it doesn't have to be proposed," McDonough said of the president's pitch, first reported on USA Today's website late Saturday.

Even so, the administration is moving forward on its own immigration agenda should one of Obama's top priorities get derailed.

The administration's proposal would create a visa for those in the country illegally and allow them to become legal permanent residents within eight years. The proposal also requires businesses to know the immigration status of their workers and adds more funding for border security.

It drew immediate criticism from Rubio, R-Fla., one of the eight lawmakers searching for a comprehensive plan.

"If actually proposed, the president's bill would be dead on arrival in Congress, leaving us with unsecured borders and a broken legal immigration system for years to come," said Rubio, who has been a leading GOP spokesman on immigration.

Many of the details in the administration's draft proposal follow the broad principles that Obama previously outlined. But the fact the administration is writing its own alternative signaled Obama wants to address immigration sooner rather than later and perhaps was looking to nudge lawmakers to move more quickly.

The tactic could complicate the administration's work with Congress.

Republican Rep. Paul Ryan, the Wisconsin lawmaker who was his party's vice presidential nominee last year, said the timing of the leak suggests the White House was looking for "a partisan advantage and not a bipartisan solution."

"Leaking this out does set things in the wrong direction," said Ryan. "There are groups in the House and the Senate working together to get this done and when he does things like this, it makes that much more difficult to do that."
 


© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Share:
   Email Us   |
   Print   |
   Forward Article  |
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Retype Email:
Country
Zip Code:
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
You May Also Like

Peter King, Press Corps Irked Over White House Boston Observance

Tuesday, 15 Apr 2014 22:16 PM

The White House press corps was unhappy that it was not allowed access to a moment of silence for Boston Marathon victim . . .

Dick Morris: US Must Keep Electoral College

Tuesday, 15 Apr 2014 14:46 PM

Democrats are plotting to rig the presidential voting system to ensure that liberals win future elections, veteran polit . . .

Rancher: If Feds Plan Raid or Lawsuits, 'We'll Take You On'

Tuesday, 15 Apr 2014 23:04 PM

Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy says he doesn't know much about possible plans by the federal government to either raid his  . . .

Newsmax, Moneynews, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, NewsmaxWorld, NewsmaxHealth, are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved