Behind-door immigration talks suggest slow going in House

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House Speaker John Boehner, Ohio Republican, is keeping a watchful eye on a handful of House members who have been meeting in secret these past weeks to bring out an immigration bill at the same time as President Obama’s State of the Union address.

The political strategy, according to The Hill, is for a Republican-driven draft bill to steal the thunder from whatever immigration-related policy Mr. Obama might push during his Feb. 12 national platform. The House draft bill would also come as competition to the bipartisan measure under development in the Senate, from a group of eight Democrats and Republicans, The Hill reported.

Still, bringing forth a House-drive bill would not guarantee speedy passage, The Hill continues. Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Virginia’s Bob Goodlatte, told The Hill his panel would purposely move slow on immigration reform and that the first hearings on Tuesday would likely lead to a “long series of hearing” on the issue.

Mr. Boehner, meanwhile, reportedly said in a meeting with a Republican advocacy group last month that he expected House immigration reformers to take their time with developing legislation. An aide for Mr. Boehner added, in The Hill report: “They’re not there yet.”

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