WASHINGTON, Nov. 4, 2015 - House Speaker Paul Ryan is making it clear that he wont 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 whos proven that he wants to go it alone, I dont think that works, he told reporters Tuesday.

But 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 isnt: 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 isnt 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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