By Seung Min Kim and Jake Sherman
CAMBRIDGE, Md. — The House Republican leadership is trying to sell their colleagues on a series of broad immigration principles, including a path to legal status for those here illegally.
Speaker John Boehner’s leadership team introduced the principles at their annual policy retreat here. Top Republicans circulated a tightly held one-page memo titled “standards for immigration reform” toward the tail-end of a day that include strategy conversations about Obamacare, the economy and the national debt.
In the private meeting where the language was introduced, Boehner (R-Ohio) told Republicans that the standards are “as far as we are willing to go.”
“Nancy Pelosi said yesterday that for her caucus, it is a special path to citizenship or nothing,” Boehner said, according to a source in the room. “If Democrats insist on that, then we are not going to get anywhere this year.”
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By Manu Raju and Jake Sherman
House GOP leaders have been eager to lock down support from their party to back the bipartisan budget deal and avoid yet another round of fiscal crises.
That message appears to have gotten lost in the Capitol Rotunda.
In the Senate, Republican leaders and senior GOP senators are balking at the budget deal, arguing that it hikes spending too high without demanding more immediate cuts in return. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is widely expected to oppose the proposal, and his top GOP leadership lieutenants also raised deep concerns Wednesday, highlighting the party’s continued divide over fiscal strategy, which has only intensified since the October government shutdown.