This morning’s frontpage story in The Hill says President Barack Obama has told Senate Democrats he expects Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) to pass immigration reform this year, defying predictions the issue is dead for 2014.
President Obama believes Republicans will feel politically vulnerable if they fail to advance the issue, a high priority among Hispanic voters, according to Democratic senators who met with the president this week.
Obama sees immigration reform as a source for optimism in what has otherwise shaped up as a tough year for Democrats.
“He predicted the House would pass something this year,” said Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.), who attended the meeting.
Obama cautioned senators to brace themselves for difficult negotiations with House Republicans later this year.
“He said we’re then all going to have a challenging conversation,” Kaine added. “He said it was more likely than not the House would do something.”
Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), the lead sponsor of the Senate-passed immigration bill, described Obama as “cautiously optimistic” after the meeting. MORE…