Syria may be the most pressing problem on the Capitol Hill agenda, but congressional Democrats have a message for those waiting for immigration reform: Our leadership isn't going to let the issue die.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., on Monday met with several of her colleagues, including ranking members and those who are a part of the House’s “Gang of Seven,” to chat about getting a 2013 immigration reform bill out of Congress. The plan: All key players should stand firm and continue to mount pressure on opponents.
A leadership aide with knowledge of the gathering told International Business Times on Tuesday that the meeting served to “rally and continue to engage the caucus.”
“All the players are out on the field,” the aide said. “It was a positive meeting and it was a conversation about continuing to keep pressure on Republicans. Immigration reform is alive and well.”
Not much has happened since the Senate passed its comprehensive immigration reform bill in June. The House GOP leadership said it will not bring the Senate’s legislation to the floor without a "majority of the majority" support. The House Judiciary and Homeland Security committees have resorted to using a piecemeal approach and passed a handful of bills. All those bills have excluded what reform advocates consider essential: a path to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented immigrants currently in the U.S.
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The “Gang of Seven” is said to be ready to release its bipartisan legislation some time in October. That bill has been about four years in the making. Democratic staffers have said the strategy this time is to wait for Republicans to realize the piecemeal approach isn’t working, and then they'll accede to a bipartisan solution.
The leadership aide said there were also discussions about which Republicans are "soft" on immigration reform and which are believed to be “gettable.” He refused to give any names.
“Leadership is taking this very seriously and pushing out the message [that] we are moving forward on immigration reform,” he said. “Everyone knows Republicans are [dragging] their feet on this thing. We have to keep the pressure up.”