President Obama will look to intensify pressure on House Republicans to act on immigration reform with four television interviews on local Spanish-language networks this week.
"The president's going to give some interviews to local Spanish-language television where he will talk about, again, the need to move forward on immigration reform," White House press secretary Jay Carney said on Monday.
The Associated Press reported that the interviews will be conducted at the White House on Tuesday with stations from Dallas, Denver, Los Angeles and New York.
The White House has thus far kept a behind-the-scenes role in the battle over immigration reform amid worries that a heavy-handed campaign-style approach could spook Republicans crucial to the bill's success.
There have been signs, however, that the president is looking to increase his role in recent weeks, as concern mounts that legislation could stall in the GOP-controlled House.
Over the weekend, senior White House adviser Dan Pfeiffer told the AP that "there might be a moment where the hammer comes out, but we're not there yet" on immigration.
Carney reiterated that threat on Monday.
“When that moment arrives, if that arrives,” he said.
"What has been our approach all along has been to evaluate the progress that comprehensive immigration reform has been making in the Congress and against that progress to make judgments about how we can best, from the president on down, advance the cause," he added.
Members of the Congressional Black Caucus and Congressional Hispanic Caucus who visited the White House last week said that Obama was weighing a barnstorming trip around the country. The White House, though, has refused to confirm those plans, saying merely that it is under consideration.
On Thursday, Sens. John McCainJohn McCainSenate votes to elevate Cyber Command in military Senate sends annual defense bill to Obama's desk Trump really can't do much to reduce tensions with Putin's Russia MORE (R-Ariz.) and Charles SchumerCharles SchumerSenate Dems hold out on spending deal, risking shutdown Dems see ’18 upside in ObamaCare repeal Confirm Gary Richard Brown for the Eastern District of New York MORE (D-N.Y.), two authors of the Senate’s bipartisan immigration bill, wouldn't comment directly on reports that the president was considering taking his immigration message across the country after meeting with him in the Oval Office.
The senators said the president realized he needed to bring GOP members onboard.
“I believe the president, as a result of our meetings, will be respectful,” McCain said. “The challenge here is to get Republican members.”
McCain added that he believed Obama “is willing to work with everybody and make compromises that are necessary.”
“To somehow say that he shouldn't be involved in that discussion is foolish,” McCain added.