The e GOP’s most outspoken proponent of comprehensive immigration reform let loose in an interview with reporters here, detailing quiet efforts to draft far-reaching legislation, saying House leadership is “committed” to bringing the hot-button topics on the floor and criticizing President Obama for carrying out too many deportations.
The California Republican says he is part of a working group laying the ground work to bring forward comprehensive immigration reform, and that top-ranking Republicans are supportive of addressing the full gamut of immigration topics in legislation in 2015.
The revelation is important because shortly after the election, Speaker John Boehner warned Obama that moving ahead on executive actions called unconstitutional by Republicans, including Denham, would kill all chance of immigration reform.
Privately, some Republicans say the remarks were bluster for the camera, and even this week Boehner announced to members the House would soon be considering a border security bill, perhaps the first in a series of stand-alone measures.
One GOP aide said senior Republicans are anxious to move forward, but whether fierce opponents including Rep. Steve King (R-IA) may defeat their efforts is still to be determined.
“Most of the grown ups around here realize you can’t just do nothing, but how do you bring up reform when part of your conference refuses to support anything?” the aide asked.