By Justin Sink
Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas) said Wednesday he wouldn't meet with President Obama to discuss immigration reform because he feared it would be a trap.
"I was invited to the White House yesterday, and I refused to meet with the president because I saw it as a political trap," the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee told radio host Laura Ingraham.
Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.), a leading Republican working on immigration legislation, said Monday during an interview with Florida radio station WGCU that he had also been invited to the White House. But the event was later postponed.
McCaul said that, in addition to declining the meeting with Obama, he had warned House leadership about allowing for a conference committee that would produce a comprehensive immigration bill.
"I told [House Speaker John] Boehner [R-Ohio], 'We need to make it very clear that we're not going to conference with the Senate on this,' " McCaul said. "We're not going to conference with the Senate, period."
Last week, Obama said it was up to House Republicans to move on immigration reform.
“This is not just an idea whose time has come; this is an idea whose time has been around for years now,” Obama said. “It's good for our economy. It’s good for our national security. It's good for our people, and we should do it this year.”
Boehner has said that any bill must earn the support of a majority of Republicans and that he favors a piecemeal, rather than comprehensive, approach.
“I still think immigration reform is an important subject that needs to be addressed, and I’m hopeful,” he told reporters last week.