Obama Summons Dozens of Lawmakers to Meet on Energy, Immigration

Posted June 28, 2010 at 7:31pm

Dozens of lawmakers will head to the White House on Tuesday to huddle with President Barack Obama on energy and immigration, two major issues that have stalled this year.

The president will meet with a bipartisan group of Senators at 10:50 a.m. to try to hash out a strategy for passing comprehensive energy and climate legislation this year.

Invited Senators include Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Max Baucus (D-Mont.), Mark Begich (D-Alaska), Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.), Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Tom Carper (D-Del.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.), Judd Gregg (R-N.H.), John Kerry (D-Mass.), Joe Lieberman (ID-Conn.), Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.), Dick Lugar (R-Ind.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.), Olympia Snowe (R-Maine), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) and George Voinovich (R-Ohio.).

Obama will then sit down with members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus at 3:40 p.m. to discuss overhauling the nation’s immigration laws. Expected attendees include Reps. Nydia Velázquez (D-N.Y.), Charles Gonzalez (D-Texas), Rubén Hinojosa (D-Texas), John Salazar (D-Colo.), Xavier Becerra (D-Calif.), Joe Baca (D-Calif.), Dennis Cardoza (D-Calif.), Jim Costa (D-Calif.), Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.), Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.), Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.), Grace Napolitano (D-Calif.), Solomon Ortiz (D-Texas), Ed Pastor (D-Ariz.), Pedro Pierluisi (D-P.R.), Silvestre Reyes (D-Texas), Ciro Rodriguez (D-Texas), Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-Calif.), Linda Sánchez (D-Calif.), José Serrano (D-N.Y.) and Albio Sires (D-N.J.), and Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.).

The president’s meeting with Hispanic lawmakers comes a day after he met with grass-roots proponents of an immigration overhaul, which has stalled in the Senate because of a lack of bipartisan support. Obama told the groups that he is holding out for action based on a proposal floated by Sens. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.).

The president is also planning to give a speech soon on the importance of passing comprehensive immigration legislation, the White House indicated Monday night.

At least one of the attendees in Monday’s meeting, Ali Noorani of the National Immigration Forum, left the meeting with Obama reassured that the president is committed to passing a comprehensive bill.

“We will support the president’s efforts to finally fix our nation’s broken immigration system, as will the overwhelming majority of Americans,” he said. “Senate Democrats have stepped forward with an outline for legislation. It is now up to the Republican Party to work across the aisle and address this urgent crisis affecting all Americans.”