Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) suggested on Sunday that President Obama’s refusal to compromise with Republicans on Obamacare to re-open the government and raise the nation’s debt ceiling has jeopardized the chances of passing comprehensive immigration reform.
“I think immigration reform is harder to achieve today than it was three weeks ago because of what happened here,” the first-term senator said during an appearance on Fox News Sunday, before agreeing with opponents of immigration reform who warn that the Obama Administration will simply fail to enforce border security or other aspects of a bill he disagrees with.
“The president has undermined this effort, absolutely, because of the way he has behaved over the last three weeks,” Rubio added. “This notion that they’re going to get in a room and negotiate a deal with the president on immigration is much more difficult to do…because of the way the president has behaved towards his opponents over the last three weeks.”
Rubio, who is often mentioned as a possible GOP presidential candidate, said he still supports a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrations, but stressed that conservatives in the House “deserve the time and space to craft their own solution.” “Let’s see what they come up with, it can very well be much better than what the Senate has done so far,” he said.
Since the shutdown, Administration officials say they will turn their focus to immigration reform in the hopes that Republicans will seize on the issue to resurrect their party image ahead of the 2014 midterm elections.