President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner will hold a closed-door meeting at 11:30 am at the White House Tuesday. A proposed immigration rewrite is high on the list of likely topics.
The news of the meeting was announced late Monday night by White House officials. But the press will be excluded. “This meeting is closed press,” according to the White House statement.
The speaker’s blog didn’t offer any information about the meeting.
The meeting is a risky move for Boehner because numerous polls show the proposed immigration increases are very unpopular among swing-voters and GOP-leaning voters. Those increases are popular among wealthy Americans, business executives, progressives and Wall Street donors.
Public opposition has already persuaded many House legislators, and several Senate GOP leaders, to oppose votes on immigration bills, and caused Boehner to announce he was putting the brakes on consideration of any bill.
But Obama and his fellow progressives, plus their many business allies, plus some sympathetic GOP leaders — such as Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan — are pressuring Boehner to hold House votes on several immigration bills.
Those bills would likely pass the House because they’re supported by progressives and Democrats.
The House bills would increase the immigration of foreign workers, and provide a multi-staged amnesty for at least 10 million illegals now in the country. For example, a bill drafted by Virginia Rep. Bob Goodlatte would allow companies to import 500,000 blue-collar foreign workers to get visas that would allow them to work for the food sector for 18 months.
Any House bills would have to be merged with the Senate bill, which was passed last June. That bill offered an amnesty to at least 10 million illegals, and doubled the current annual inflow of 1 million immigrants and 650,000 non-agriculture guest workers. For comparison, 4 million Americans turn 18 each year.
The Senate bill would lower average wages for a decade, and shift more of the nation’s income away from wage earners towards investors, according to a report by the Congressional Budget Office.