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Jansing & Co.
updated 4/2/2013 12:50:33 PM ET 2013-04-02T16:50:33

Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart says the house bipartisan group working on immigration is very close to a deal, but stopped short of providing a firm timeline on Jansing & Co.

Republican congressman Mario Diaz-Balart says the House bipartisan group working on immigration is very close to a deal, but stopped short of providing a firm timeline Tuesday on Jansing & Co.

“The only way we’re going to get this done is if it has some very strong bipartisan support,” he said. “We’re more concerned in the House to get it right than do it quickly…We’re probably farther ahead than they [the Senate] are but our goal is to get it right, to finalize something that is real, that is permanent and that, frankly, fixes what’s broken, which is in essence the entire immigration system.

Diaz-Balart says both the House and Senate groups are “on the same planet” when it comes to what needs to be in the comprehensive immigration reform bills, but expects “tough negotiations” to reconcile the House and Senate bills. He hopes eventually a conference committee will be able to bring both sides of Congress together.

Yesterday, Democratic Rep.  Steve Israel blamed Republicans for an inability to compromise to immigration.

“Only House Republicans could stop it [immigration] now,” he said on Jansing & Co. Monday. ”So far they have not shown the ability to compromise, they are inflexible, they are chaotic, they put politics ahead of solutions,” Israel said.

Rep. Diaz-Balart called that kind of talk a “shame.”

“It’s a shame that some people, and you’ve just heard it from his lips, are still trying to politicize this,” Diaz-Balart said. “This is an issue that has been used by both parties for election reasons. It’s worked well for Democrats, been political suicide for Republicans. But both parties have used this as a political issues.”

There is new pressure on lawmakers to come up with a deal.  The Washington Post reports evangelical groups are expanding a radio ad campaign in Texas, Florida, Colorado, and North Carolina to make the case for immigration reform and a path to citizenship.

The Senate’s “Gang of Eight” announced over the weekend they had a deal, although Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) cautioned in a statement that announcement was premature. Rubio also wrote a letter to Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy asking him to thoroughly examine the proposal.

“I cannot urge strongly enough that such a discussion start with meaningful hearings,” Rubio wrote. “You have said that ‘delay for delay’s sake’ would be a mistake in this matter, I agree. But excessive haste in the pursuit of a lasting solution is perhaps even more dangerous to the goals many of us share.  We owe it to the American people to get immigration reform right this time.”

Video: Congressman on Senate, House immigration bills: ‘We’re at least on the same planet’

  1. Closed captioning of: Congressman on Senate, House immigration bills: ‘We’re at least on the same planet’

    >> there's another issue the president is still working on of course, that's immigration. there is new pressure on congress to finish a deal on immigration perform. it's coming from evangelical christian groups, to offer a pathway of citizenship to immigrants. good to see you congressman, good morning.

    >> great pleasure. how are you?

    >> we're hearing the senate is close to a bipartisan deal on this. how close are you?

    >> we're very close.

    >> timeline?

    >> excuse me?

    >> do you have a timeline? do you think you'll be done in a week, weeks?

    >> you know, we don't have a timeline and i'll tell you why. more importantly than when we file a bill is to make sure it's a good bill, a reasonable bill and that hopefully it can get and keep bipartisan support. the only way we're going to get this done is if it has some very strong bipartisan support. we're more concerned in the house to get it right than do it quickly. i am encouraged by the very hard work members of the senate are putting into this. as you know, in the house we've been doing this for quite a bit longer. we're probably farther ahead than they are but our goal is to get it right, to finalize something that is real, that is permanent and that, frankly, fixes what's broken, which is in essence the entire immigration system.

    >> so farther ahead, that's interesting. and also we hear from folks on the senate side that they've been in touch with you guys over on the house side. are there areas that it's clear to you that are going to take some tough negotiations to reconcile the senate and house versions?

    >> we're least on the same planet when you look at the major issues. we're going to have differences. it's very likely that the house bill will be a lot more conservative in some ways than the senate bill but i don't think that there are issues there that we shouldn't be able to agree on ultimately. it's important that we go through the regular process, it goes through the process that people have the ability to come and to change and to amend. but eventually we hopefully will have a conference committee where we can then work out the differences between the house bill and senate bill . i'm optimistic -- look, we are as close as we have ever been to actually finally getting an immigration bill that fixes what is broken, which is the entire immigration system. it's still a very heavy lift. if it was simple, we would have done this a long time ago.

    >> i was talking to dcc chair steve israel , who basically says he thinks the only way immigration reform could fail now is because of house republicans. let me play that for you.

    >> only house republicans could stop it now. only house republicans could --

    >> will they? what's your gut?

    >> so far they have not shown the ability to compromise. they are inflexible, they are chaotic, they put politics ahead of solutions.

    >> can you get your colleagues to support this on the republican side , congressman?

    >> you know, i like steve but he is continually -- here's a process where we've had michael phelps of both parties working legitimately to try to solve it. it's a shame that some people, and you've just heard it from his lips, are still trying to politicize this. this is an issue that has been used by both parties for election reasons. it's worked well for democrats, been political suicide for republicans. but both parties have used this as a political issues. that has ceased to happen and we are working together. he's trying to derail it, trying to point fingers. the important thing is this, is that members of both parties, despite what he says, those who are trying to politicize it like he is, we're working in a bipartisan way, a realistic way, lowering the passions. he's trying to inflame passions. we're trying to lower passions to come up with a solution. i think we're going to get it done.

    >> congressman mario diaz -ba l diaz-balart.

    >> thank you.

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