With next possible shutdown 90 days away, Obama pushes immigration rewrite

Neil Munro White House Correspondent
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The next potential government shutdown is a little over 12 weeks away and President Obama using the time to push for passage of the stalled immigration reform bill, plus approval of higher taxes and higher spending.

If the GOP doesn’t agree to his tax and spending plans in the next 90 days — despite bitter disagreement since Obama was inaugurated, almost 250 weeks ago — Obama gets to play the government-shutdown card against the GOP all over again.

Along with a budget deal, “we should finish the job of fixing our broken immigration system,” Obama said in an Oct. 17 speech from the White House. “Let’s not leave this problem to continue festering for another year, two years or three years,” he insisted.

The time is also compressed by the pending Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, and by Congress’ year-end recess.

The political pressure is also raised by the continued, visible failures of Obamacare.

Few young and healthy customers have signed up for the expensive government-approved medical network, and the federal survey of households showed that American employers actually reduced their full-time employment rolls while preparing for Obamacare in the first six months of the year.

Obama’s high-stakes, high-pressure strategy, however, is aided by his progressive allies, including his many supporters in the media, culture and news industries.

Throughout the partial-shutdown in October, Obama used his allies to blame the GOP for the shutdown, even though Obama declined to accept any of the GOP’s popular health-reform goals, and also blocked numerous small-scale funding bills that were passed by the GOP-led House.

Obama’s alliance successfully hammered the GOP’s public support, and prompted GOP leaders to accept the Democratic-drafted budget plan Oct. 16.

Even before the House approved the plan, Obama and his aides promised a renewed campaign to advance his agenda.

He’s pushing to reverse spending cuts approved in the 2011 sequester deal, and to raise taxes above the “fiscal cliff” deal set in December 2012.

He’s also pushing the Senate’s immigration rewrite, which would triple legal immigration over 10 years to 33 million. The Senate’s bill also would almost double the current population of 750,000 university-trained foreign guest workers who compete for jobs sought by America’s annual class of 800,000 university-trained technical professionals.

The House’s GOP leaders have denounced the Senate bill, but have not deep-sixed the immigration push. Instead, they’re weighing plans to pass a series of small bills that can later be combined with the Senate bill that is being supported by Obama and the Democrats.

“The GOP will cease to exist as a party of limited government unless it stands up for wage earners and stands against this massively unpopular business-led push to deluge our nation with unskilled foreign workers,” said a GOP congressional aide.

“The majority of Americans think thing this is right thing to do,” Obama insisted Oct. 17. In fact, polls show few Americans support the Senate’s immigration plan, especially its increased inflow of foreign blue-collar and university-trained workers.

Progressives are supporting the immigration expansion. The additional immigrants would increase public dependence on government by shifting more of the nation’s income from wage-earners to investors, according to a June report by the Congressional Budget Office, and would also boost the number of Democratic-leaning immigrant citizens by 10 million within a decade.

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