House immigration group announces ‘agreement in principle’
From The Hill Today 17 May 2013 -
House immigration group announces ‘agreement in principle.’ A bipartisan group of House negotiators said Thursday it has reached an “agreement in principle” on comprehensive immigration reform legislation.
“We have an agreement in principle,” Rep. John Carter (R-Tex.) said as he and five other members of the group emerged from a two-hour meeting late Thursday afternoon.
Democrats confirmed the deal, and lawmakers said they would meet again next week to put the finishing touches on the legislative text.
“The big hurdles are taken care of, so now it’s an issue of finalizing the draft,” Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.) said.
The agreement represents a major development for one of President Obama’s top second term priorities. The group of eight lawmakers has met in secret for more than four years to craft a broad immigration proposal, but they had stumbled in recent weeks over a guest worker program and the treatment of immigrants under the 2010 healthcare law.
With a bipartisan bill moving ahead in the Senate, the House negotiators had faced pressure from Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) to complete its proposal to allow the House to put its stamp on the immigration debate. Earlier Thursday, Boehner had said he was “concerned” about the group’s inability to strike a deal.
The House bill is expected to be more conservative than the Senate proposal, owing in large part to the fact that Republicans control the lower chamber. People briefed on the negotiations have said the path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants in the House proposal would be at least two years longer than the minimum of 13 for most immigrants in the Senate bill.
None of the House negotiators would discuss the details of their proposal Thursday.
Whole Story: The Hill