Obama With New Lobbyist: ‘Going to See Through’ Immigration

Photograph by John Moore/Getty Images

Family members reunite through bars and mesh of the U.S.-Mexico border fence at Friendship Park on Nov. 17, 2013 in San Diego, California.

The White House has a new legislative affairs director.

Many would contend that it needs one.

The rare show of bipartisanship that resulted in the House’s overwhelming passage of a $1-trillion budget last night — with the Senate ready to take that up on Tuesday — belies the fact that some rough rowing remains. Not only is the president’s health care law under continuing attack. Hopes of winning immigration reform hinge on the ability of House Republicans to strike some agreements, even incremental ones Speaker John Boehner plans.

Katie Beirne Fallon is stepping in as Miguel Rodriguez, a former aide to ex-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, steps aside.

“I am pleased that Katie Beirne Fallon has agreed to serve as my next Director of Legislative Affairs,” President Barack Obama said in a statement issued by the White House. “As a veteran of Congress, and my Deputy Director of Communications, she has the deep expertise and strong relationships required to build on the progress we’ve made this year and advance my top priority: creating jobs and expanding broad-based growth and opportunity for every American.”

Obama also praised Rodriguez for a fight well fought, with a renewal of his pledge to win passage of an immigration measure consistent with the one that cleared the Senate earlier this year:

“Throughout some of this year’s most contentious legislative battles, Miguel worked tirelessly to bridge the partisan divide, forge consensus, and seek out solutions that helped us move forward.  As the son of immigrants, I know Miguel took particular pride in the Senate’s passage of a bipartisan, commonsense immigration reform plan – something that we are going to see through.”

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