Berman 10/25 [Russell, The Hill, GOP comfortable ignoring Obama pleas for vote on immigration bill http://thehill.com/homenews/house/330527-gop-comfortable-ignoring-obama-pleas-to-move-to-immigration-reform]
For President Obama and advocates hoping for a House vote on immigration reform this year, the reality is simple: Fat chance. [Video] Since the shutdown, Obama has repeatedly sought to turn the nation’s focus to immigration reform and pressure Republicans to take up the Senate’s bill, or something similar. But there are no signs that Republicans are feeling any pressure. Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has repeatedly ruled out taking up the comprehensive Senate bill, and senior Republicans say it is unlikely that the party, bruised from its internal battle over thegovernment shutdown, would pivot quickly to an issue that has long rankled conservatives. Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.), a leadership ally, told reporters Wednesday there is virtually no chance the party would take up immigration reform before the next round of budget and debt-ceiling fights are settled. While that could happen by December if a budget conference committee strikes an agreement, that fight is more likely to drag on well into 2014: The next deadline for lifting the debt ceiling, for example, is not until Feb. 7. “I don’t even think we’ll get to that point until we get these other problems solved,” Cole said. He said it was unrealistic to expect the House to be able to tackle what he called the “divisive and difficult issue”of immigration when it can barely handle the most basic task of keeping the government’s lights on. “We’re not sure we can chew gum, let alone walk and chew gum, so let’s just chew gum for a while,” Cole said. In a colloquy on the House floor, Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) asked Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) to outline the GOP's agenda between now and the end of 2013. Cantor rattled off a handful of issues — finishing a farm bill, energy legislation, more efforts to go after ObamaCare — but immigration reform was notably absent. When Hoyer asked Cantor directly on the House floor for an update on immigration efforts, the majority leader was similarly vague.