For President Obama and advocates hoping for a House vote on immigration reform this year, the reality is simple: Fat chance. [Video]
Obama repeatedly since the shutdown has sought to turn the nation’s focus to immigration reform and pressure Republicans to take up the Senate’s bill, or something similar.
But there are no signs that Republicans are feeling any pressure.
Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has repeatedly ruled out taking up the comprehensive Senate bill, and senior Republicans say it is unlikely that the party, bruised from its internal battle over the government shutdown, will pivot quickly to an issue that has long rankled conservatives.
Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.), a leadership ally, told reporters Wednesday there is virtually no chance the party would take up immigration reform before the next round of budget and debt ceiling fights are settled. While that could happen by December if a budget conference committee strikes an agreement, that fight is more likely to drag well in 2014: the next deadline for lifting the debt ceiling, for example, is not until Feb. 7.