Obama Concedes Immigration Must Wait Until Next Year

Posted August 10, 2009 at 1:12pm

President Barack Obama on Monday said his crowded agenda will force consideration of immigration reform to wait until next year.Speaking at a press conference in Guadalajara, Mexico, at a summit with the leaders of Mexico and Canada, Obama said he expects the unveiling of “draft legislation— this year with a list of co-sponsors to be introduced in the House and Senate. The president said that health overhaul, energy legislation and financial system reform all must come first. “That’s a pretty big stack of bills,— he said.As the year has progressed, the White House has inched away from moving an immigration bill in 2009, shifting from hopefulness that it can get it done this year to optimism that substantial progress could be made — and finally to Obama’s strong suggestion on Monday that little will be achieved until next year.But the president asserted that he believes an immigration bill will eventually pass. “I’m comfortable we can get it done,— he said.On health care, Obama rejected the suggestion that the debate will harm Democrats at the polls in 2010.“I anticipate we’ll do just fine,— he said, arguing that voters will be pleased Congress acted to revamp the nation’s health care system.Obama said the “single payer— system in Canada is not suitable to the United States, which he noted has widespread employer-provided coverage. “I’ve said that the Canadian model works for Canada — it would not work for the United States,— Obama said. “We’ve got to develop a uniquely American approach to this problem.—Obama noted that opponents of his proposals sometimes compare them to the Canadian system in an effort to cast them negatively. He appeared to equate the comparisons to an attack on Canadians themselves.“I don’t find Canadians particularly scary,— Obama said, asserting that some opponents of his plans had found Canada to be “a good bogeyman.—