White House: Rubio immigration proposals 'bode well' for reform efforts

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"We are encouraged — referring now to recent reports ‚ that Senator Rubio's thinking — as reported — so closely reflects the president's blueprint for reform," Carney said. "The president has long called for partners from both sides of the aisle. And he has lamented the absence of partners from the other side of the aisle. It used to be a bipartisan pursuit, comprehensive immigration reform. For a while, it ceased to be. But he certainly hopes that it will be in the future."

Carney said Rubio's "ideas bode well for a productive, bipartisan debate," and said the administration hoped other Republicans followed suit.

"We hope that it signals a change in the Republican approach to this issue, because if we are going to get this done, it's going to take more than just a handful of Republicans working across the aisle," Carney said. "It's a kind of thing, comprehensive immigration reform, that requires significant bipartisan support. And he hopes that this augers well for the future."

But the press secretary deferred when asked why President Obama had not reached out to Rubio or other Republican leaders on the subject, saying simply that it would happen down the road.

Carney also said he believed Congress could simultaneously juggle major legislation competing for oxygen, as the next months are likely to see a push on the debt ceiling, gun reform, and immigration.

"There's no reason to believe that these kinds of issues can't be worked on at the same time, and you can expect the president to push for both measures to reduce gun violence and for comprehensive immigration reform, because they are both priorities of his," Carney said.

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