U.S. Chamber of Commerce President Tom Donohue said Monday that he believes there is still an opportunity to pass comprehensive immigration reform this Congress, even as some House conservatives signal that the effort is dead-on-arrival in that chamber.
“We’re in a good position. There’s still an appetite to get comprehensive immigration reform done,” he said at a Monday briefing sponsored by the Christian Science Monitor. “We’re really hot after it. … The Chamber is keeping up the push for reform. It’s an opportunity to show the world we can get big things done.”
Donohue acknowledged that a comprehensive bill isn’t likely to pass the House, but expressed hope that the lower chamber would pass enough piecemeal bills to go into conference committee negotiations with the Senate and agree on a sweeping set of reforms.
“I don’t think they’ll pass a great, big comprehensive bill, but I think they’ll do three or four more things that have to be in that bill, and then we’ll have an opportunity to go to conference,” he said. “Just think about it: Pass a bill in the Senate, pass a bill in the House, go to conference, get a result and have the president sign it. Hey, government still works.”