- Toronto Mayor Rob Ford flubs daylight saving time advice: ‘Turn your clocks back’
- Americans don’t support sending U.S. troops to Ukraine
- Florida lawmakers move to wipe corrupt ‘Boss Hogg’ town from map
- N.C. math whiz to unveil secret of March Madness picks
- An appealing offer: Chiquita merges with Fyffes to make world’s largest banana firm
- Amnesty International says Syria guilty of war crimes for food blockade
- Mitch McConnell on beating tea party: ‘We are going to crush them’
- Adam Lanza’s dad: He would’ve killed me ‘in a heartbeat’
- North Korea holds election: 100% turnout, Kim Jong-un gets — 100% of vote
- Gentlemen, start your drones: Judge’s ruling opens door for commercial use
White House hails signs of progress on immigration
The White House on Monday hailed signs of progress from the so-called Gang of Eight senators working on the bipartisan immigration reform bill, but declined to weigh in on any specifics of the deal until it’s officially announced.
“I would say broadly that we are encouraged by the continuing signs of progress that we are seeing in the Senate as the Group of Eight … more broadly works on comprehensive immigration reform,” Mr. Carney said, though he said the negotiators are “not there yet.”
“We will evaluate the specific aspects of that legislation when it is produced,” the spokesman said.
The eight senators — four Republicans and four Democrats — have been negotiating since the start of this year on what would be the first major immigration overhaul in nearly three decades.
They want to beef up border security and interior enforcement, while also granting a pathway to citizenship to the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants now in the U.S. — though they said that process could take more than a decade.
Mr. Carney wouldn’t say whether Mr. Obama would accept that time frame, which many immigrant-rights advocates argue is too long and uncertain. Instead, he reiterated Mr. Obama’s key principles for immigration reforms and said he believes the progress being made in the Senate reflects those principles.
Over the weekend, two of the negotiators said a final deal is imminent.
Sen. Charles E. Schumer, New York Democrat, told NBC’s “Meet the Press” he is “very, very optimistic” that they will finalize a bill in about a week, and Sen. Lindsey Graham said, “I think we’ve got a deal.”
“We’ve got to write the legislation, but 2013, I hope, will be the year that we pass bipartisan immigration reform,” the South Carolina Republican said.
But Sen. Marco Rubio, a Florida Republican who is one of the eight senators working on the agreement, said such plans are premature. He said even when they do reach a deal, it will require more hearings in the Senate, and will demand a long and open amendment process.
“We will need a healthy public debate that includes committee hearings and the opportunity for other senators to improve our legislation with their own amendments,” the Florida Republican said.
The negotiations got a boost over the weekend when two of the county’s most influential business and labor groups struck an agreement on guest-worker rules, overcoming one of the biggest hurdles that had sunk previous efforts to overhaul the nation’s immigration laws.
The AFL-CIO and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce over the weekend announced they had reached a deal on how to allow nonseasonal low-skilled migrant workers into the country. The chamber satisfied labor’s main concern by ensuring that businesses couldn’t offer lower wages to the workers than prevailing American wage levels.
Starting April 1, 2015, a new “W” visa program would allow 20,000 workers into the country in the first year with that number increasing gradually and ultimately being capped at 200,000 a year.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Susan Crabtree is an award-winning investigative reporter with more than 15 years of reporting experience in Washington, D.C. Her reporting about bribery, corruption and conflict-of-interest issues on Capitol Hill has led to several FBI and ethics investigations, as well as consequences for members within their caucuses and at the ballot box. Susan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- GOP senators want IG probe of Sebelius' 'Obamacare' fundraising
- Teaming up with Christie, Obama says Jersey shore 'back in business'
- No Moore: Obama flubs name of Oklahoma city devastated by tornado, calls it 'Monroe'
- Obama to Okla. tornado victims: 'We have got your back'
- Amid his own challenges, Obama calls on Navy grads to hold themselves accountable
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
Taxpayers must pay the freight for over-budget train projects
- Kim Jong-un calls for execution of 33 Christians
- Rand Paul wins 2014 CPAC straw poll, Ted Cruz finishes a distant second
- Senate Democrats, Republicans spar over restoring unemployment benefits
- CURL: Today's GOP really is Reagan's 'Big Tent' party
- As Crimea falls, Obama takes Key Largo golf vacation, Biden hits Virgin Islands
- Russia besieges Crimea as U.S. seeks diplomacy; Putin remains undeterred by Obama's sanctions
- SAUERBREY: Taxing Marylanders until they flee
- Investigators puzzle: How does a 777 jetliner just disappear into thin air?
- Florida lawmakers move to wipe corrupt 'Boss Hogg' town from map
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
Pope Francis meets his 'mini-me'
Celebrity deaths in 2014
Winter storm hits states — again