- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 11, 2013

Two Senate sponsors of immigration reform emerged from a White House meeting Thursday saying it’s important for House Republicans not to feel “pressured” by President Obama to complete a bill.

“We want to be very careful that we have the president’s participation,” said Sen. John McCain, Arizona Republican. But he said it’s also important that “these Republican House members … do not feel that they have been pressured by the president of the United States.”

“I think the president is walking a careful line here, and I think it’s appropriate,” he said.

Mr. McCain said he was “encouraged” by the House Republicans’ meeting on the issue Wednesday, even though the House GOP is rejecting a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants that is included in the Senate bill.

“There is an acknowledgment that … this is a problem that demands addressing,” Mr. McCain said of overall immigration reform. “We are ready to negotiate, we are ready to talk.”

Sen. Charles E. Schumer, New York Democrat, said Mr. Obama “has given us our space” to complete a bill. Both senators said they do not expect the House to finish immigration legislation before the congressional August recess.

“Hopefully, it’ll be close enough [to the Senate bill] that we can come to an agreement,” Mr. Schumer said.

Mr. Obama is expected to go on the road in the coming weeks to press for House action on comprehensive immigration reform, as will sponsors of the Senate bill.

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