mostlycloudy
Thursday May 28th, 2015 8:05PM

Immigration foes dig in amid expectations in House

By The Associated Press
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Conservatives and the nation's biggest business lobby sparred Wednesday over immigration overhaul, with advocates vowing a renewed effort to get the House to act this year and opponents digging in against anything that shifts the political spotlight from President Barack Obama's troubled health care law.

The latest skirmish came as proponents raised expectations of congressional action on the contentious issue, seizing on any glimmer of positive developments. House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, told rank-and-file Republicans in a closed-door session that he would soon outline party principles on the issue, which could serve as a precursor to legislation.

One of the GOP's crucial backers on many policies, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, promised to "pull out all the stops" to get legislation done.

"We're determined to make 2014 the year that immigration reform is finally enacted," Tom Donohue, president of the Chamber of Commerce, said in his State of American Business address. He said the organization would engage in grassroots lobbying, communications and partnership with unions, similar to what it did to secure a bipartisan bill in the Senate last year.

Later, in a news conference, Donohue said the chamber had received a "very positive response" in the House on immigration.

Opposition remains steadfast in the House, with several Republicans unwilling to give Obama one of his top second-term priorities. Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, a chief foe of comprehensive immigration overhaul, said the issue would divide the GOP caucus and shift the focus from what he called the "calamity" of the health care law.

Republicans sense an election-year lift in the problem-plagued rollout of the health care law, highlighting reports of canceled policies, higher premiums and other troubles. Republicans are looking to tighten their grip on the House and seize control of the Senate in November's midterm elections.

"It would be a colossal mistake for us to take up anything that just ends up changing the subject and getting it off Obamacare and splitting the Republican Party," King said after the closed-door session.

King said Obama and the Democrats "want to debate immigration, they want to debate unemployment, they want to debate minimum wage," and Republicans should be wary of any diversion from health care.

The Senate last year passed a comprehensive, bipartisan bill that addressed border security, provided enforcement measures and offered a path to citizenship for the estimated 11 million immigrants living in the United States illegally. House leaders, pressed by tea party conservatives, demanded a more limited and piecemeal approach.

The House Judiciary Committee has approved piecemeal bills, but they have languished since the summer despite intense pressure from a diverse coalition of religious groups, business led by the Chamber of Commerce, labor unions and immigration advocates.

Although House Republican leaders say they want to resolve the issue, which has become a political drag for the GOP, many rank-and-file Republicans have shown little inclination to deal with immigration. Many argue that a path to citizenship for those here illegally amounts to amnesty.

A House Republican retreat later this month could help GOP leaders devise a strategy. Some Republicans and Democrats say Boehner could wait until after the filing deadlines for 2014 primary elections, thus protecting some incumbents from tea party or other conservative challenges. That would mean no meaningful votes until after April.
© Copyright 2015 AccessNorthGa.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Judge denies motions to move, delay Tsarnaev trial
Lawyers for Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev asked a federal appeals court Wednesday to overturn a judge's decision to not move his upcoming trial out of state.
10:02PM ( 4 months ago )
High court to adopt electronic filing of cases
The Supreme Court is belatedly developing an electronic filing system similar to those used in courts around the country, Chief Justice John Roberts said Wednesday in his annual end-of-year report.
7:57PM ( 4 months ago )
Storm brings snow, cold to West for New Year's
A blustery winter storm dumped snow and ice across the West on Wednesday, making driving treacherous in the mountains from California to the Rockies and forcing residents and party-goers in some usually sun-soaked cities to bundle up for a frosty New Year's.
5:19PM ( 4 months ago )
U.S. News
State DOT awards $48M contract for NE Ga. road project
The state Department of Transportation has awarded a $47.8 million contract for nine miles of work on a northeast Georgia road.
9:37AM ( 4 months ago )
Business News
Grass fire impacts rush hour traffic on 985
Rush hour traffic on I-985 was slowed by a grass fire Wednesay afternoon with one lane closed while firefighters fought the blaze.
10:19PM ( 4 months ago )
Hall County conviction, sentencing to be reviewed by SCOGA
The State Supreme Court has agreed to hear the appeal of a Hall County man when they reconvene in January.
2:37PM ( 4 months ago )
Maysville man dies from Banks County wreck
The Georgia State Patrol reports that alcohol and/or drugs were factors a single-vehicle wreck that claimed the life of a Maysville man in Banks County Tuesday night.
11:07AM ( 4 months ago )
Local/State News
GOP leader regrets talk to white supremacists; party leaders rally around him
House Republican leaders rallied around one of their own, Whip Steve Scalise, on Tuesday after he said he regrets speaking 12 years ago to a white supremacist organization and condemns the views of such groups.
6:08PM ( 4 months ago )
Conviction of Putin foe sets off protest in Moscow
President Vladimir Putin's chief political foe was convicted along with his brother on Tuesday in a fraud case widely seen as a vendetta by the Kremlin, triggering one of Russia's boldest anti-government demonstrations in years.
6:03PM ( 4 months ago )
More Georgians signing up for health insurance
A federal report says more Georgians have selected health insurance plans through a federally facilitated marketplace.
4:16PM ( 4 months ago )
Politics
Federal prosecutors indict ex-US Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert on bank-related charges
CHICAGO (AP) — Federal prosecutors indict ex-US Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert on bank-related charges.
5:08PM ( 2 hours ago )
Homeowners clean up in Texas; death toll climbs to 21
HOUSTON (AP) — Homeowners dragged soggy carpet to the curb and mopped up coffee-colored muck Wednesday after a barrage of storms and floods in Texas and Oklahoma left at least 21 people dead and 11 ot...
11:09PM ( 20 hours ago )
US rejects nuclear disarmament document over Israel concerns
UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The United States on Friday blocked a global document aimed at ridding the world of nuclear weapons, saying Egypt and other states tried to "cynically manipulate" the process by...
9:33PM ( 5 days ago )
Obama again avoids calling 1915 Armenian killings 'genocide'
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama will once again stop short of calling the 1915 massacre of Armenians a genocide, prompting anger and disappointment from those who have been pushing him to ful...
1:00PM ( 1 month ago )
Ex-NFL star Hernandez convicted of murder, sentenced to life
FALL RIVER, Mass. (AP) — Former New England Patriots star Aaron Hernandez was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison Wednesday for a deadly late-night shooting, sealing the d...
8:54PM ( 1 month ago )