House Talks on Immigration Reform Near Collapse
Bipartisan meetings in the House of Representatives on a comprehensive immigration reform bill have failed, and the congressmen will meet for the last time today without reaching an agreement on a House bill, ABC News has learned.
The stumbling block is GOP insistence that newly legalized workers now working in the shadows have no access to government-sponsored health care during their 15-year pathway to citizenship, according to two sources with access to the secret house "Gang of 8? meetings.
Democrats say that since these newly legalized immigrants would be paying taxes they should be eligible for benefits.
The stalemate is not expected to be solved and any immigration legislation from the House would likely proceed in piecemeal fashion.
This latest development represents a huge blow to immigration reform advocates because the House is likely to pass several smaller bills that address immigration reform, but would not include a pathway to citizenship. It creates a much longer and arduous legislative road to a bill President Obama would be willing to sign.