WASHINGTON -- The push-pull of
The window for Congress to approve an immigration overhaul is closing, but House Speaker
"Here's the attitude: Ohhhh. Don't make me do this. Ohhhh. This is too hard," Boehner said, mimicking a whining tone, at an Ohio luncheon, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer.
Boehner is racing the clock this summer, not only against the coming November election but the threat that the
Obama also faces a time crunch. Advocates for immigrants, including those camped out in front of the White House this month, have tired of administration promises, particularly as deportations have separated families. Labeling Obama the "deporter in chief," as some have done, is not a legacy the president wants to stick.
But here's the rub: Every time the White House threatens executive actions, it drives Republicans further from any compromise with Democrats. Tea-party-aligned Republicans argue that the president would merely pick and choose which parts of new legislation he would enforce.
Twenty-two Republican senators raised the trust argument this week in a letter warning Obama against the Homeland Security Department review.
"Our entire constitutional system is threatened," they wrote, "when the executive branch suspends the law at its whim."
Most observers believe that the opportunity for immigration reform during this Congress has long passed, and that this summer will provide a lot of talk but little action.
Then again, Boehner knows how important the issue is for the Republican Party as it tries to broaden its base of mostly white voters, especially heading into the 2016 presidential campaign.
The short legislative calendar could present a venue for testing GOP immigration reform bills.