Meet the Press   |  April 28, 2013

Immigration on the Hill: Where is it going?

A roundtable of journalists and pundits discuss various initiatives still pending on Capitol Hill and the branch’s relationship with the administration.

Share This:

This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> congressman, i've been thinking what is the relationship between the syria problem and how much time and energy that could occupy in this white house ? the president is focused on his legacy he's building in his second term and immigration and then, of course, there is the economy and whether there will ever be a budget deal. i look at those three areas and how they all come together. what is going to define this president's second term? it.

>> well, there's no question, david, that it's a full schedule, both foreign issues and domestic issues the president is dealing with. he just got into his second term, though. he's not quite leaving yet. and i think he's up for the task and congress is up for the task of dealing with these issues. i think you're going to see the president take some time to make sure the facts are right on syria when he makes a decision he'll act swiftly. i think the congress is going to pass comprehensive immigration reform in 2013 . i think they'll bring the gun vote back. if not in 2013 then after the republican primary before the general election in 2014 to put pressure on those folks to vote a different way. i think on all of these fronts, president obama will leave his mark on some very big issues in our nation.

>> but, you know, karen, you saw this firsthand. president bush coming in in the second term and not succeeding on social security , the iraq war , you know, using so much of the capital and there goes immigration and all the rest. he's got -- the president has to coalesce around something that will define the second is term rather soon.

>> the clock is ticking. president obama 's presidency is defined by a health care law proving more difficult to implement and more costly than projected and massive build ups of debt and federal spending. that is his legacy at this point point. i do agree immigration reform has a good chance of passing. i thought he was shrewd to pick it up in the context of president bush 's library opening and to say president bush had it right on the immigration issue. no day in the presidency is an easy day with only one set of decisions. you have a will the of big things happening across the world and big, troubling issues to deal with.

>> chuck, you wrote this legacy issue in first read this week.

>> it is. karen, i'm curious if you were to sit down with president obama , how long would you tell him that he has for a legislative agenda in a second term?

>> probably a year. probably a year.

>> you have one year and i think that's what they're operating on. and i think that the gun thing, you know, they always knew they were going to lose. they just didn't know they were going to lose so quickly. it does put more pressure on immigration to get it done. there would be this concern. everybody -- there was this basically it was "the new york times," right, "the new york times," maureen dowd and others who just said, oh, wow. he's losing his ability to get things done. the gun vote was such a way to show how he doesn't know how to manage washington, this town. the gun vote was the wrong issue to pick on him on that. there is other evidence that he struggles managing washington, the gun vote was a different story. immigration is going to be the real test.

>> senator, what is your counsel at this point? i know you were among the women from the senate who met with him. one of the complaints on capitol hill the president is not working even his people enough to get some of the things he wants in an agenda.

>> well, now that he's put a minnesotan as chief of staff, mcdonough --

>> is there any other state today?

>> i think that his outreach has been really good this year. people have genuinely liked meeting with him and believe that he wants to move forward on a debt deal to bring the debt down in a balanced way. i think that's got to be part of his legacy as well to try to bring people together on that. the immigration bill , it was an incredible week for the immigration bill . we started the week with people saying we have to delay this because of boston and people like speaker boehner and ryan come out and say this means we have to speed this up because there's better security provisions in here. i think it's exciting. we had 23 witnesses on the judiciary committee and everyone from the migrant workers to grover norquist supporting it.