There are only 19 days left in 2013 for the House to pass immigration reform, but it doesn't look like the GOP is in any kind of rush. President Obama made his plea yesterday for Congress to get comprehensive immigration reform done "this year." When Dana Bash at CNN asked GOP representatives if that was possible, one responded "hahaha."
Most Republicans in the House are still singularly focused on derailing Obamacare. They also want to pass a GOP-friendly budget. Though many Republicans support immigration reform, passing it would be a huge legacy piece for Obama. And after the shutdown, conservatives aren't in the mood to do Obama any favors. One House GOP leadership aide told CNN yesterday, "There is a sincere desire to work on this issue, but there's also very little good will after the President spent the last two months refusing to work with us."
Even Marco Rubio, who once championed immigration reform, is backing off making any kind of deal, Politico reports. He says the Obama administration has “undermined” negotiations by not defunding Obamacare. Rep. Raul Labrador told Politico that Obama is trying to "destroy the Republican Party." He thinks GOP leaders would be "crazy" to negotiate with the president on immigration. Rep. Aaron Schock put it plainly last week:
I know the president has said, well, gee, now this is the time to talk about immigration reform. He ain't gonna get a willing partner in the House until he actually gets serious about ... his plan to deal with the debt.
So politically, the GOP doesn't think it would be a good move to vote on immigration reform (and they're running out of time to do it this year, anyway). What's interesting is that just a few months ago, RNC chairman Reince Priebus made it clear that comprehensive immigration reform would be good for the GOP, politically. In the RNC's "autopsy" report on why Romney lost, there's this line: Republicans "must embrace and champion comprehensive immigration reform" to reach minority voters.
Just not when Obama wants to, we guess.