Want to know why immigration reform might not get done this year?
According to House Speaker John Boehner, it's the president's fault. Not so, says Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey. He blames House Repubilcans who he said are failing to act and then blaming the president for their inaction.
Just a week ago there seemed to be signs of forward movement on immigration when GOP leaders issued a set of principles for immigration reform legislation.
Any optimism that gesture created, Boehner squelched at his weekly news conference Thursday.
Boehner said reforming immigration is important, but will be tough to get done because President Barack Obama has changed parts of the health care law and has said he'll use executive power to increase workers wages and other things if Congress fails to act. By doing so, Obama has fed distrust among House members about whether he'll enforce any crackdowns on immigration they pass, said Boehner, R-Ohio.
Menendez wasn't buying it. "Another week, another immigration reform obituary," he said in a statement. The votes exist to pass immigration reform, if Boehner would allow a vote. "This time, Speaker Boehner tries to blame his own inaction on President Obama ... It is irresponsible for Speaker Boehner and House Republicans to place blame on anyone other than themselves."
Florida Republican Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart put himself in the not giving up category, saying he will keep working on bipartisan immigration legislation.