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The long, slow death of immigration reform

July 10, 2013, at 10:10 AM

Even though the Republican National Committee’s autopsy report after the 2012 presidential election urged the party to repair its relationship with Hispanic voters, few in the rank-and-file are paying attention.

In fact, it seems they’re on their way to making the problems for their party worse.

Top Republicans on Capitol Hill tell Politico that the comprehensive immigration reform bill — which overwhelmingly passed the Senate last month — “will die a slow, months-long death in the House."

Rick Klein sees the same dynamic forming: "As unfathomable as it seems that a bill supported by two-thirds of senators never comes up for a vote in the House, that's now clearly the path we're on."

The conventional wisdom suggested Republicans would pass immigration reform to improve their political position with Hispanics. But that ignored the important political reality that few House Republicans rely on Hispanic votes to win re-election.

House GOP leaders meet with their rank and file today but members acknowledge to Roll Call that "it's unlikely to produce a unified path forward."

We’re now at the point that immigration reform will not happen unless President Obama and Democrats can find new pressure points.

First Read holds out hope that the legislation is not dead until it’s dead, and that House Republicans might not "budge until very late in the year when finally budging becomes their best card to play. But even immigration supporters have to admit that they probably didn’t think they’d be in the position of trying to make House Republicans have to budge late in the year."

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