Nov. 4, 2015 - House Speaker Paul Ryan is making it clear that he won’t take up a broad immigration reform bill while
President Obama is still in office. “If we try to move in a comprehensive way with a president who’s proven that he wants to go it
alone, I don’t think that works,” he told
immigration legislation had no chance at this point anyway. The more important question is whether Ryan
is going to backtrack on his past support for providing legal status or
citizenship to the immigrants who are now in the country illegally. Ryan says
he isn’t: “My
positions are very well known and unchanged on this issue.” That will be encouraging to
agribusiness groups, who are hoping Ryan can somehow shepherd an immigration
bill through the next Congress, starting in 2017.
Members of the
hard-line House Freedom Caucus say Ryan promised them that he would never move
an immigration bill, or other major legislation, that isn’t supported by a majority of Republicans. But Ryan
seemed to leave himself some wiggle room when asked about that pledge on Fox News Sunday.
“I was elected to unify the Republican conference, not
to dis-unify the Republican conference.
And so, I think on the big controversial issues of the day, I want to
reach for not just a narrow majority, I want to get us to consensus,” Ryan said. But when pressed
on the issue, he added, “There are always exceptions to the rules and, when circumstances dictate,
we have to look at all options available.”
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