Arizona families with the Arizona DREAM Act Coalition hold hands and pray in front of Boehnerís office Tuesday in the Longworth House Office Building. The event was held to launch a week of prayer for Boehner to act on immigration legislation.
Advocates of an immigration overhaul may see a silver lining in the recent 16-day government shutdown for their cause in the House, sensing that Republicans will want to win back some of the popular support they lost over the past month.
But House GOP insiders remain skeptical that the fractured Republican Conference will be able to get something done on the issue anytime soon.
Backers of a rewrite of immigration laws view the recent plunge in Republican favorability ratings as an opening for the party to push the immigration issue and help repair the GOP brand. Even so, action may be stymied by continued infighting over government spending and lawmakers who have little interest in helping the party resuscitate its damaged reputation.
Sources familiar with the thinking of Republican leaders and the rowdy conservatives who clash with them are pessimistic about the partyís ability to come together, even if immigration changes enjoy popular support with voters and among the party.
ďI would ask these immigration proponents, ĎDoes our party look like itís doing a good job of actively managing our favorables?íĒ one GOP aide questioned. ďDoes the [Republican National Committee] want us to do something? Sure it does, to give them talking points headed into 2016, making the party look like itís more reasonable and in tune with demographics a Republican presidential candidate might need. Is that something thatís actually viable in the House? No. Itís not.Ē
Another Republican aide predicted, ďThere is no chance the House brings anything to a vote. Iím pretty confident you donít have anyone in Republican leadership in the House telling you it would be good to vote on it. Just not going to happen, no matter how much [the president] wants to change the debate to that issue.Ē
Then thereís the timing of the next budget fight.
The bipartisan deal to reopen the government ó requiring a budget conference report in December, a continuing resolution by mid-January and an increase in the debt limit in February ó may prevent the House from acting on any immigration bills until spring 2014 at the earliest, sources on both sides say.
Following the speeches from elected officials, the crowd stands at long tables as they dig into BBQ, brunswick stew, cadillac rice at the Law Enforcement Cookout at Wayne Dasher's pond house in Glennville, Ga., on Thursday, April 17, 2014.