ObamaCare website's woes

The Hill's A.B. Stoddard takes your questions on the ObamaCare website rollout. 

Divide over citizenship is bad news for immigration reform — and Rubio

Despite the meeting Wednesday in which House Republicans agreed to ditch the Senate's bipartisan, comprehensive immigration bill, there are signs some House Republicans do want to pass something of their own. Whether that will ever mean a conference report that is signed into law is a question for another day.

House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) reiterated his intention not to bring anything to the floor that didn't have a majority of support from his conference, including a conference report. But he said a majority of Republicans wanted to pass reform, so there are indications that without a path to citizenship, something could be possible. 


Rubio is right: GOP as party of old conservative white men will lose

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) is on course to emerge from the immigration debate stronger than ever, and an immigration bill similar to the Senate bill has at least an even-money chance of becoming law this year.

The longer House Republicans drag on the debate, the greater the cost to the GOP of defeating the bill. I spent years working for House Democratic leaders and believe many pundits do not understand the politics of the House of Representatives.


Marco Rubio stands tall, Rand Paul stands small

Not long ago Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) gave an intelligent speech suggesting Republicans need to reach out and suggesting he might support a fair immigration bill.

Days later, Paul broke with himself, opposed the immigration bill and became just another small-minded rightist seeking to raise money for the doomed presidential campaign he will probably run.

I do not agree with those who casually suggest the House will never agree to a fair immigration bill. Here's why: The GOP is running out of wave-group voters to alienate. Wars against the interests of women and Hispanics, as perceived by significant majorities of women and Hispanics, are the road to ruin and permanent minority party status for a GOP with a very defective brand these days.

Karl Rove knows this. Haley Barbour knows this. My guess is House Republican leaders know this. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) definitely knows this. It is interesting that the two columnists at The Hill who have been the most friendly to Rubio on immigration have been John Feehery and myself.


One step forward, and that's probably it

Before concluding that comprehensive immigration reform passed by the Senate is unlikely to pass the House and become law, the 68-32 vote Thursday on the bill must be applauded, not on substance (that can be argued and will), but on process. 

It's heartening, in our new normal of permanent gridlock, to see both parties working so earnestly to legislate together.