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Kill Bill: Reaction To the Death of Immigration Reform

Immigration reform is dead - at least for now. Speaker Hastert's decision to call for a series of "field hearings" (whatever those are) on immigration before sitting down to work out the details of a compromise with the Senate means the jig is up. ""Right now," Hastert said, "I haven't heard a lot of pressure to have a path to citizenship."

Here's a roundup of reactions gleaned from various news reports:

Senator John McCain: "I respect their [House Republicans'] views, and I hope that we can still continue discussions, and hopefully we can reach an agreement."

Senator Ted Kennedy: "This is clearly a delay tactic by the House Republicans, who have been dead set against comprehensive reform from the beginning. One has to wonder why there are going to be continued hearings ... other than just to delay and kill the bill."

Senator Hillary Clinton: "It looks like another effort to score political points by refusing to do what needs to be done. This Congress sure won't do anything that's in the best interest of Americans so far as I can tell."

Senator Arlen Specter: "There's a general recognition that we need a bill. We're going to get together. We're going to sit down and try to work it all out."

Senator Harry Reid: "The Republican House wants to defeat the immigration bill. This is a stall."

Dan Perino, White House Spokesman
: "The president is undeterred in his efforts to pass a comprehensive immigration reform bill. [He is] committed to working with members to see if we can reach a consensus on a bill that will help solve our nation's immigration problems."

Congressman Tom Tancredo
: "Odds were long that any so-called compromise bill would get to the president's desk this year. The nail was already put in the coffin of the Senate's amnesty plan. These hearings probably lowered it into the grave. This is an issue that we can run on and win in November. By training Americans' focus on the Senate's amnesty pact, we'll create momentum for an enforcement-first bill after November. As more light is shed on the Senate's bill, more and more Americans find reasons to oppose it."

Majority Leader John Boehner: "We want to have a very clear idea of what is in the Senate bill and what people think of some of the provisions in the Senate bill. The American people want us to secure our borders. They want us to enforce our laws."

Senator Lindsey Graham: "The question is, Is it better to solve the issue before the election, or is it better to make people mad and do nothing? I think it is hard to go to the electorate when you have the White House, the Senate and the House and say that you cannot at least go through the effort of trying to get a bill. That would to me be a sign of inability to govern."

Senator Jeff Sessions: "The problem with the Senate bill is that it is a tremendously important issue that had very little serious thought given to it. The House can provide the nation an opportunity to find out what's in the bill."

Minority Whip Steny Hoyer: "This is a device to put off the issue, so they don't have to highlight their divisions."

Senator John Cornyn: "I think it's clear the Senate will have to move closer to the House position to get it resolved."

Senator Dianne Feinstein: "My own view is that Republicans want to use it as a campaign issue. I think it is a good idea to let this thing settle for a while."

Senator Mel Martinez: "I realize that the House has not addressed two of the three major aspects of the Senate bill."

I'll be back a bit later with more comment on the subject.