Congress: GOP strategy on immigration

Chris Frates: “House Republicans head home for the August break having done little to pass immigration reform, falling well short of Speaker John Boehner’s goal to vote on legislation before next week’s monthlong recess begins. But far from a failure of leadership, top House Republicans are casting the inaction as a tactical play designed to boost reform’s chances. Keeping immigration on the back-burner helps avoid a recess filled with angry town-hall meetings reminiscent of the heated August 2009 protests where the backlash against health care reform coalesced. Doing nothing also starves Democrats of a target, Republicans argue. … So Boehner, Cantor, and McCarthy have privately discussed holding off on immigration until October.”

August town halls would have been ugly. Of course, this strategy ignores that health care will be on the front burner starting Oct. 1. Will conservatives really have an incentive then to compromise while revving up to fight Obamacare?

"More than 100 Republican donors — many of them prominent names in their party’s establishment — sent a letter to Republican members of Congress on Tuesday urging them to support an overhaul of the nation’s immigration laws," the New York Timesreports. "The letter, which calls for “legal status” for the 11 million immigrants here illegally, begins with a simple appeal: 'We write to urge you to take action to fix our broken immigration system.' The effort was organized by Carlos Gutierrez, who was secretary of commerce under President George W. Bush and was a founder of a 'super PAC,' Republicans for Immigration Reform."

Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-OR) announced yesterday that she delivered a baby two weeks ago that was just 28 weeks old and had no functioning kidneys. The Oregonian: “Abigail has Potter's syndrome, a condition where a lack of amniotic fluid impairs lung and kidney development. She is likely to be the first baby to survive the diagnosis, according to the press release. Most babies born with the condition are unable to breathe after birth, because the condition prevents their lungs from developing fully. … Her long-term prognosis is uncertain. Abigail will require ongoing dialysis and eventual transplant, the couple said.”

She wrote in a press release and on Facebook: “The options we were offered were termination or ‘expectant management,’ that is, waiting for her to die. Instead, we chose to pray earnestly for a miracle. Many of you joined us.”

NBC’s Jessica Taylor contributed.