Just as the prospects for passage of a House immigration reform bill looked to be imploding last week, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi told a group of leading House Democrats and Washington immigration advocates that she plans to introduce her own immigration reform legislation. According to Politico, the California Democrat could release her legislation as early as the first week of October.
The Pelosi bill would closely resemble the legislation passed in June by the Senate but would incorporate border security provisions included in a proposal from the House Judiciary Committee. Its introduction could provide a jump-start to an immigration legislative process thrown recently into chaos.
Last week, two House Republicans who’d been heavily involved with drafting a separate bipartisan immigration reform bill announced publically that they were walking away from the table. Following the news, Illinois Democrat Rep. Luis Gutierrez, perhaps the leading reform proponent in the House, declared the bipartisan reform effort "stalled." He added, "I don’t believe we’re going to produce a bill anytime soon."
The Pelosi bill could pull immigration reform back out of the grave, but the bill’s ultimate passage still depends on House Speaker John Boehner, who would have to call the legislation to the floor for a vote, something he’s said he would not be willing to do without support from a majority of Republicans. Even with Pelosi’s adoption of the House Judiciary committee’s border security provisions, that level of GOP support remains a high bar.