Next up: Immigration.
Jeb Bush, former Florida governor, brother of one president, son of another and the one serious-minded Republican who probably won’t run for the White House in 2016, says it’s time for Congress to get serious about immigration.
Bush is framing the urgency of the debate in economic terms.
“An economically driven immigration system –I think that’s a conservative idea,” Bush said this morning on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” It oughta be passed.”
His argument is that immigration has always been an economic engine, a source of entrepreneurial power that has fueled the nation’s growth — and that, as the “broken immigration system” stands, it is thwarting potential growth by keeping millions of undocumented immigrants in the dark and preventing professional talent educated either in the U.S. or abroad from putting their skills to work here.
President Barack Obama, who endorses the “comprehensive” approach that the Senate approved this year — offering g a path to citizenship for the undocumented while cracking down on illegal immigration and expanding visas — has signaled that he will press the Republican-run House to start moving on its own measures now that the budget debacle has ended — or at least been pushed back to January and February. A bipartisan group of lawmakers in the House is working on their own comprehensive plan, while leaders take a piece by piece approach to bills.
They ought to get it done the old-fashioned way, Bush, co-author of the book, “Immigration Wars,” suggested today: Get a bill out of the House and take it to conference with the Senate, negotiate a solution in traditional legislative form rather than the crisis-oriented standoffs that have marked so much of the budgetary debate in recent years, and this week.
Sen. Chuck Schumer, a New York Democrat and one of the senators who crafted the bipartisan agreement on that side, said on the same show today that he holds hope of getting something through the House. Leaders such as House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan and Majority Leader Eric Cantor understand the need.
“I hope the leadership in the House brings it back and creates a conservative alternative that a majority of House members could support,” Bush said today. “Look our immigration system is broken, it doesn’t work, and we have a chance to fix it.”