House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (Calif.), the third-ranking House Republican, told immigration advocates on Friday the lower chamber won’t vote on immigration reform this year.
In a meeting with immigration leaders, McCarthy said there aren’t enough days left in this year’s legislative session to pursue reform legislation, according to The Associated Press.
Angelica Salas, the board chairwoman for the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles, said she was one of those who spoke with McCarthy.
"What he said was, there's 13 days left, it's very hard to do anything in 13 days," Salas said of McCarthy, according to the AP.
Salas occupied McCarthy’s district office in Bakersfield, Calif., on Thursday to pressure House GOP lawmakers to tackle the issue.
"He said, 'Ladies, I hear you want to talk to me. This is just not the way to do it,'" Salas recalled, the AP reported.
The announcement will not be good news for the Obama administration.
Last month, President Obama shifted gears and stepped up pressure on House Republicans to pass immigration reform legislation by the end of the year.
He said he’s now open to any legislation as long as it includes a path to citizenship.
Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has repeatedly refused this year to take up the Gang of Eight legislation, which the House passed in June.
Three House Republicans — Reps. Jeff Denham (Calif.), David Valadao (Calif.) and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (Fla.) — recently signed onto legislation House Democrat Joe Garcia (Fla.) introduced in October, which modifies the Senate’s bill.
Outsiders have also hiked up campaigns to push Republicans on the issue. The AFL-CIO and SEIU launched a series of ads pressuring them in congressional districts where they're vulnerable and where there are large Hispanic populations.
On Thursday, New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, also wrote a letter to Boehner saying the House should pass immigration reform “as soon as possible, ideally prior to the end of the calendar year."
The House returns next week after being on a week-long break, but only a few legislative days remain before the end of the year.