Updated 10:03 a.m. | The Las Vegas Review-Journal has the story folks are talking about: senior White House adviser Valerie Jarrett telling a Las Vegas conference "we have a commitment from John Boehner" on immigration.
“I think we have a window this summer, between now and August, to get something done,” Jarrett said, noting that a vote would come after most Republican primaries. “We have a commitment from Speaker Boehner, who’s very frustrated with his caucus.” She added, “I feel very encouraged about immigration reform. I think you’re going to see mounting pressure.”
Jarrett clarified her remark via a tweet Friday morning, after the story got lots of overnight attention.
.@chucktodd lost in translation-- I said Boehner has made commitment to trying, not that he has made commitment to us or time frame. — Valerie Jarrett (@vj44) May 16, 2014Boehner spokesman Michael Steel reiterated the speaker's line that Obama needs to show he will enforce the law.
"Republicans are committed to reforming our immigration system, but as the speaker has said repeatedly, it’s difficult to see how we make progress until the American people have faith that President Obama will enforce the law as written," he said. Immigration has been the top priority of the president in his second term, with Obama earlier this week saying the House needed to act in the next two or three months. Boehner himself mocked lawmakers for not wanting to take up the issue, then walked those comments back. He has insisted there is no conspiracy to bring an immigration bill to the floor over the objections of his flock.
Without action, the president seems certain to act to reduce deportations on his own — although the administration has repeatedly warned the president's authority is limited.
Top Democrats believe Republicans face a choice — pass something now and claim at least some of the credit or watch Obama act unilaterally as much as he can and boost the Democratic Party's strength in the Hispanic community for years and perhaps generations to come.
Boehner easily won his primary; the No. 2 House Republican, Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia, faces a primary challenge June 10.