House Republicans’ spring agenda will include votes to “replace” Obamacare with patient-centered health policies, to encourage charter schools as an option to failing public schools, and to sanction Lois Lerner, the former IRS official accused of targeting conservative groups.
And although six Republican measures to fight human trafficking also are in view, action on immigration reform is conspicuously absent from Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s memo Friday to the GOP conference.
The Virginia Republican’s pre-primary election silence on the status of illegal immigrants intrigues some onlookers. After all, Cantor and three other top House leaders — Speaker John Boehner (Ohio), Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (Calif.), and Republican Conference Chairman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (Wash.) — all have made statements indicating action on immigration reforms could come soon.
“I believe there is a path that we get a bill on the floor by August,” McMorris Rodgers told the Spokane (Wash.) Spokesman-Review on Thursday.
The story paraphrases McMorris Rodgers as saying she would support a bill granting legal status to illegal immigrants working toward citizenship and allowing them to continue working or going to school while they wait their turn in the current system. “We’re going to have to push that this is a legal status, not amnesty,” she told the newspaper.
Dan Holler, communications director at Heritage Action for America, urged GOP leaders to drop the talk of amnesty — no matter how it is couched.
“A pro-amnesty agenda runs contrary to the policy objects put forth by House Republicans,” Holler said. “At some point, the leadership will have to reconcile its doublespeak and abandon amnesty. If they don’t, they risk alienating the very voters who can deliver a decisive victory in November.”
The memo from Cantor, the No. 2 House Republican, outlines what he views as progress and looks forward on policy fronts such as “lessening the middle class squeeze,” jobs and economic growth, Obamacare, quality schools, human trafficking, defense and other spending bills. Cantor wrote:
Building an America that works requires that we:
(1) Provide an environment for economic growth and job creation;
(2) Act to remedy government policies that are contributing to a weak economy and embrace policies that encourage robust economic growth and job creation;
(3) Reform our health care system by replacing Obamacare with policies that improve patient choice, access to doctors and hospitals, and lower costs; and
(4) Ensure that all Americans have the opportunity to succeed by accessing a quality education.
Roll Call has the complete memo here.
This story was produced by The Foundry’s news team. Nothing here should be construed as necessarily reflecting the views of The Heritage Foundation.