When Congress returns from its (hopefully relaxing!) Christmas/holiday break next week, both Senate Democrats and House Republicans expect to begin work on their policy priorities. Differing policy priorities, of course. Voters are skeptical that the federal government can get much of anything done, a new Associated Press poll reports — a skepticism that, given that this is an election year, seems very much warranted.
The New York Times reports that 2014 is slated to begin where 2012 left off in the House. Speaker John Boehner says he'll push for immigration reform again, considered a key move for the Republican Party given its slumping numbers with Latino voters. Boehner has hired a staffer from the office of Arizona Sen. John McCain, with the goal of advancing "'step by step' moves to revise immigration laws," the Times reports. This paragraph is perhaps the most telling:
The most likely legislative approach, according to lawmakers, White House officials and activists, is a push to pass legislation in the House by May or June — after most Republican lawmakers are through with their primary campaigns — with the goal of reaching a compromise that Mr. Obama could sign before the 2014 midterm election campaigns intensify next fall.
See that? Wait on immigration reform until after members of Congress have to face staunch conservative opposition in primary battles but pass it before the general election when far more Latino voters will head to the polls. Not a bad move, politically.