Friday, November 22, 2019

Obama’s List to Congress: Budget, Immigration, and a Farm Bill

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After signing a bipartisan deal to reopen the government and avert a default, President Obama challenged Congress to overcome political division and focus its work on passing a budget, overhaul immigration, and approve a long delayed farm bill this year. The President said that these three priorities would help Washington move beyond “the cloud of crisis” created by a 16 day partial government shutdown, and address public frustration with the federal government.

According to the President’s rolled out ‘to do list’, Washington’s top priority for the coming weeks will be the passage of a budget, a process that has been stalled in Congress all year.

Number two on the list, Obama called for a renewed, bipartisan effort to pass immigration reform.

While a bipartisan, comprehensive immigration overhaul bill was approved in the Senate this past June, House of Representatives Republicans have remained divided over the granting of legal status to the 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the United States.  The President reminded Congress that the issue of immigration is “[something] that can and should get done by the end of this year.”

Meanwhile, Rep. Raul Labrador, a Republican from Idaho, expressed doubt that Republicans and Democrats could work together on the issue of immigration. “If the president is going to show the same kind of good faith effort that he’s shown in the last couple of weeks, I think it would be crazy for the House Republican leadership to enter into negotiations with him on immigration” Labrador said.

As for the proponents of immigration reform, time is of essence.

Frank Sharry, the executive director of America’s Voice, said that “the [remaining] central question is whether [House Speaker John] Boehner and smart Republicans in the House will take the get-out-of-jail card that Democrats are offering to them on immigration reform.” He continued stating  that “working with Democrats to pass reform will help the GOP rehabilitate their badly damaged brand, solve a huge political problem facing the GOP with respect to Latino, Asian and immigrant voters, and prove to the American people they can govern responsibly rather than recklessly.”

Third on the President’s list, is the passage of a long-delayed Farm Bill.

All of these three things “would make a huge difference in our economy right now,” Obama said. “And we could get them done by the end of the year if our focus is on what’s good for the American people.”

Fox News Latino