This week both the House and Senate are on recess for the July Fourth holiday. Last week, the Senate passed comprehensive immigration reform with a final vote of 68-32. Despite missing the 70 vote goal, bill authors were pleased with the outcome.
House Republican leaders are meeting July 10 to discuss whether or not to take next steps toward immigration reform. Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) indicated the House will not likely take up the Senate bill and will not bring any legislation to the floor without Republican majority support. Many House Republicans want to secure the country’s borders and increase immigration enforcement before creating a path to legal status for the current undocumented population. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) has led the committee in marking up separate immigration bills around the e-verify program, H-1B work visas and visas for immigrants with advanced degrees from American universities in science, technology, engineering and math, but the committee has not touched on developing a pathway to citizenship.
Last week the House Energy and Commerce Committee released its advanced legislative framework to repeal the sustainable growth rate (SGR) system for Medicare payments and replace it with a new Medicare physician payment system. Finding a permanent fix to the SGR system remains a major priority for the committee.