Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said he would welcome the $659 million immigration bill currently circulating in the US House.
Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) is trying to round up enough votes for a pared-down border bill that spends far below the president’s request for $3.7 billion and includes policy changes to speed the deportation of illegal minors from Central America.
Reid said the policy changes would give him an opportunity to attach the comprehensive immigration reform bill that the Senate passed last year with the support of 14 Republicans.
“If they pass that, maybe it’s an opening for us to have a conference on our comprehensive immigration reform. If they’re finally sending us something on immigration, maybe we can do that,” Reid told reporters after a lunch meeting with his caucus.
“We’ve been looking for something to do a conference on. Maybe we can do it with that,” Reid said.
The current House bill would send National Guard troops to the southern border plus add funding for immigration judges to speed the processing of unaccompanied minors found crossing US borders illegally.
While the Senate passed legislation last year, Speaker Boehner has blocked any attempt to further immigration reform this year. To do so could might open the door to what could be considered a “win” by President Obama and the Democrats.
And of course, it’s more important to play politics than to get the people’s work done, don’t you know?