Morning Action: Where Obama, Boehner Stand on Immigration Reform
IMMIGRATION. President Obama has attempted once again to get House Speaker John Boehner to act on immigration, and his latest gesture allegedly failed to elicit a positive reaction (sub. req’d):
President Barack Obama won’t act to reduce deportations on his own until the end of the summer — giving Speaker John A. Boehner one more chance to vote on an immigration overhaul.
Two administration officials confirmed that the president has directed Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson to hold off on releasing the results of his review of immigration policy in the meantime.
The hope in the White House is that once Republican primary season largely wraps up on June 10, Boehner will have the political space to get something done.
The gesture didn’t elicit a positive reaction from the Ohio Republican.
“Enforcing the law as written isn’t a ‘concession’ – it is the President’s solemn responsibility,” said Boehner spokesman Michael Steel. “Now isn’t the time to be playing politics with immigration enforcement or our national security.”
BENGHAZI. Over the coming weeks, the Benghazi panel will begin its public hearings in an attempt to investigate the , and Roll Call has written about each of the lawmakers comprising the panel:
With public hearings still weeks away, it’s too soon to fairly predict whether a purely political show trial or a riveting investigatory breakthrough is in store from the House Select Committee on the Events Surrounding the 2012 Terrorist Attack in Benghazi.
But it’s not too early to look at the cast of characters who make up the panel’s membership for clues about what each side has in mind. (Check out our handy cheat sheet.)
In some aspects, the makeup of the parties’ rosters is fundamentally different, in ways that make clear the Republicans are planning to be on offense from the outset while the Democrats are going to dig in to play defense. In other areas, the group is a reminder of the stark biographical differences between the two caucuses. But in a few ways, the committee’s characteristics are curiously different from the House as a whole.
MICHELLE OBAMA. First Lady Michelle Obama says that failing to abide by the administration’s nutrition standards is “unacceptable” (sub. req’d):
First lady Michelle Obama is stepping up the administration’s attack on a provision in the House agriculture appropriations bill that could allow some schools to opt out of higher school nutrition standards. “This is unacceptable,” she said Tuesday as she hosted a roundtable discussion with some school officials. ”It’s unacceptable to me not just as first lady but also as a mother.”
According to the White House pool report, she emphasized that she thinks the Institute of Medicine and other experts should set standards, not Congress. “Rolling things back is not the answer.” The pool reporters were allowed to listen to the first part of the discussion, which included sympathetic school officials from Los Angeles, New York, Norfolk, Va., Montgomery County, Md., and Burke County, Ga.
During the discussion, Mrs. Obama expressed frustration with the School Nutrition Association over its attempt to roll back the standards, asking the officials she had gathered “why we are even having this conversation.” Helen Phillips, senior director of school nutrition in Norfolk and a former SNA president, said there “are definitely school districts that are struggling.” Some weren’t prepared for the standards, she said, and some are experiencing financial constraints.
GUNS. Lawmakers may attach gun amendments to the spending bill in the House (sub. req’d):
A mass shooting at a California university and the Justice Department’s indictment of Chinese hackers on cyber espionage charges could spark amendments during this week’s House debate on the wide-ranging Commerce-Justice-Science appropriations bill.
Lawmakers were still finalizing plans for amendments as members returned from the Memorial Day recess, but the California shooting is clearly on the minds of some California Democrats.
House appropriator Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) 16%, for example, issued a statement Tuesday calling on Congress to move on “responsible and commonsense gun safety laws” following the UC-Santa Barbara shooting.
If Schiff or another House Democrat chooses to introduce a gun control amendment in response to the California shooting to the C-J-S spending bill, it won’t be the only firearms-related provision.