GOP Leadership Tees Up Immigration for Retreat

Posted January 15, 2014 at 6:46pm

House Republicans are poised to decide the fate of an immigration overhaul at their retreat in two weeks, according to lawmakers leaving a meeting with leadership on Wednesday.

After the House overwhelmingly passed the omnibus spending bill Wednesday, Republican leadership held a meeting in the basement of the Capitol with freshmen lawmakers to discuss a wide range of issues.

Present at the meeting — which is held about every two weeks — was Speaker John A. Boehner of Ohio, Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia, Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy of California, GOP Conference Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington, and about 25 freshman Republicans.

According to lawmakers, GOP leaders are preparing to use the Republican retreat in Cambridge, Md., as the debate ground for an immigration overhaul.

Asked where immigration fits in with the GOP legislative agenda, freshman Texas Rep. Randy Weber responded, “That’s a good question.”

“Stay tuned,” Weber said. “We’re going to see how that plays out. I don’t know that it plays in yet, but, you know, you never can tell.”

Andy Barr of Kentucky pointed out that immigration “will be one of many” topics at the retreat. Barr said Obamacare and the Republican jobs agenda would both be “topics that everybody knows we’ll be dealing with.”

But what Republicans do — or don’t do — on immigration seems to be at the forefront. A House GOP leadership aide told CQ Roll Call Wednesday night that “there will definitely be a discussion,” but said it was unclear if Republicans would emerge with “a yes/no binary choice.”

Coming out of the meeting, Indiana Rep. Susan W. Brooks said she didn’t know if Republicans would have “a decision coming out of the retreat, but that’s what the retreat is for: to have the discussion.”