White House: scale back immigration expectations

July 6, 2009                                                                                            Win a green card Subscribe in a reader

Hours before President Obama was set to meet with members of Congress to discuss immigration reform, the president's chief of staff sought to lower expectations about when that immigration reform might come to pass.

president Obama and White House chief of staff Emanuel

White House chief of staff and former Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill.) said Thursday that reform might not happen this year, but it will get done. "If it doesn't happen in the next two months, that doesn't mean it doesn't happen between now and then, i.e. 2010," White House chief of staff Emanuel said. Emanuel, talking to reporters at a breakfast hosted by The Christian Science Monitor, said the Thursday afternoon meeting is the beginning of the process that will result in legislation the president can sign. "The reasons you have this meeting is because the votes aren't there," Emanuel said. "If the votes are there, you don't even have the meeting, you got to a roll call."

On immigration and other Obama initiatives taking up a considerable amount of Congress's time, Emanuel said he is confident legislation can be passed this year, but he thinks it's as important to be discussing the major issues now.

"It's not impossible to do it this year," White House chief of staff Emanuel said. "I think the more important thing is to get it started now."

Emanuel spent the majority of his opening remarks discussing the president's beleaguered healthcare reform proposals, expressing confidence that the president will have a bill to sign this year even as he conceded "we have a lot of hard slogging to go."

"I think we are in good shape," Emanuel said.

The former congressman said he sees two key numbers to winning the debate on healthcare "because this debate is about cost and coverage."

Emanuel said 14,000 people lose their insurance coverage every day, and each year the cost of healthcare grows by 10 percent.

Obama's public insurance proposal

Emanuel defended Obama's much-maligned public insurance proposal, stressing that the public plan would promote competition.

He also said Republicans howling about the cost of the proposal are missing the point because healthcare reform is "rearranging the dollars in the healthcare system."

"It's realigning it, reassigning it with the outcome that you'd like to see," he said.

Emanuel, who also worked in the Clinton White House, said he sees a different urgency surrounding the healthcare debate than he did when former President Clinton failed to get a bill through Congress.

"Congress knows that failure is not an option," White House chief of staff Emanuel said. "That was not the mindset going into '03-'04."

Emanuel repeated the administration's insistence that the goal is not to pass healthcare reform through the reconciliation process.

"Our goal is to get it through the normal process," he said. "Reconciliation exists as a tool, but that is not the goal."

Enter the U.S. Green Card Lottery today and you could win a U.S. Green Card.
55,000 Green Cards avalible in the lottery each year.

dv2014 green card diversity lottery

Return to USA Diversity Lottery's immigration news page to read more immigration news.

Green Card Test

USA Diversity Green Card Test

Take the free test to see if you qualify. If you do, apply for the USA Diversity Visa Green Card Lottery here on the Official USA Diversity Lottery site and your dreams may soon come true. 55,000 diversity immigrant visas (Green Cards) available in the lottery every year. Take the free test NOW!

Immigration News

July 6, 2009

White House: scale back immigration expectations

July 5, 2009

McCain to President Obama: Do not bow to labor unions on immigration

June 25, 2009

President Obama: Congress to Take Up Immigration Overhaul

June 23, 2009

Obama administration gut immigration enforcement

June 22, 2009

Obama: citizen plan in danger

June 22, 2009

Obama: immigration overhaul is essential

June 19, 2009

Bishops call for Congress to pass immigration reform by yearís end

June 16, 2009

Obtain a three year residence permit under the Danish Green Card scheme

June 15, 2009

US H-1B Visas still available due to the economic downturn

June 12, 2009

Can Senate Leader Reid find enough Votes to Pass Amnesty Immigration Reform?

June 9, 2009

Unemployed immigrants leaving Florida as more jobs going to Americans

June 8, 2009

Agriculture immigration reform won't happen this year in Congress

May 29, 2009

EUís version of the US Green Card system in the offing

May 26, 2009

Immigration reform could emerge again in the fall

May 20, 2009

Janet Napolitano: Illegal immigrant legalization a hard sell

May 18, 2009

Despite downturn, Indians surge in Silicon Valley continues

May 12, 2009

Obama reverses stance on immigration

May 11, 2009

Obama reverses stance on immigration

May 1, 2009

Obama Administration Cracks Down on Companies Hiring Illegals

March 18, 2009

Join the army and become a US citizen in 6 months

March 1, 2009

Obtain a U.S. Green Card without any form of sponsorship