WASHINGTON — Despite a bruising fiscal cliff battle that managed to set the stage for an even more heated showdown that will likely take place in a matter of months, President Barack Obama is planning to move full steam ahead with the rest of his domestic policy agenda.
An Obama administration official said the president plans to push for immigration reform this January. The official, who spoke about legislative plans only on condition of anonymity, said that coming standoffs over deficit reduction are unlikely to drain momentum from other priorities. The White House plans to push forward quickly, not just on immigration reform but gun control laws as well.
The timeframe is likely to be cheered by Democrats and immigration reform advocates alike, who have privately expressed fears that Obama’s second term will be drowned out in seemingly unending showdowns between parties. The just-completed fiscal cliff deal is giving way to a two-month deadline to resolve delayed sequestration cuts, an expiring continuing resolution to fund the government and a debt ceiling that will soon be hit . . .
Good news for immigration advocates may have come Tuesday night, when Boehner broke the so-called “Hastert Rule” and allowed the fiscal cliff bill to come for a vote without support from a majority of his Republican conference. Given opposition to immigration reform by many Tea Party Republicans, the proof that Boehner is willing to bypass them on major legislation is a good sign, the Democratic aide said.
“If something is of such importance that the GOP establishment [is] telling Boehner, ‘You must do this. You need to get this off the table soon,'” the Democratic aide said, the speaker could break the Hastert Rule again.
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