On Thursday in the East Room of the White House U.S. President Barack Obama again called on the republican-controlled House of Representatives to set aside partisan politics in order to strengthen the national economy and fortify national defense by passing a bipartisan immigration reform bill similar to the strong bipartisan bill which has been stalled by House republicans after it had passed in the U.S. Senate in June.
The President, with Vice-President Joe Biden at his side, spoke in front of an audience comprised of business leaders, union leaders and faith leaders, all supporting the passage of meaningful immigration reform.
“We have kicked this particular can down the road for too long,” President Obama noted, as he later in the speech challenged Congress, particularly the republican leadership in the House of Representatives, to accomplish this before the end of the year.
The President also called on Congress to pass a responsible budget which allows the economy to grow while working toward “fiscal discipline,” and he urged Congress to pass the farm bill that “helps rural communities grow and protects vulnerable Americans in hard times.”
Concerning immigration reform, the President cited independent economists who have calculated that passage of the Senate immigration bill into law would add $1.4 trillion to the economy over the next two decades and it would shrink deficits by almost a trillion dollars.
In addition, he noted that having 11 million undocumented people in the country without a means to work toward one day earning citizenship in order to build better lives for their families is not only unfair and not smart it also does not make sense.
“Democratic leaders have introduced a bill in the House that is similar to the bipartisan Senate bill,” Obama remarked. “So now it’s up to republicans in the House to decide whether reform becomes a reality or not.”
Continuing his outreach across the aisle as he has done time and time again throughout his presidency, the President emphasized, “If House republicans have new and different additional ideas for how we should move forward, then we want to hear them,” adding, “I’ll be listening.” Furthermore, he mentioned that democrats and republicans in the Senate are would like to hear them.
“Whether you’re a Republican or a Democrat or an independent, I want you to keep working, and I’m going to be right next to you, to make sure we get immigration reform done. It is time. Let’s go get it done,” the President concluded.