By Justin Sink - 10/16/13 12:55 AM EDT
President Obama vowed Tuesday that he would pursue an immigration reform vote in the House the "day after" Congress reaches an agreement to reopen the government and raise the debt ceiling.
The president reiterated his claim that the only thing holding back passage of the Senate's immigration bill is "Speaker BoehnerJohn BoehnerIn House GOP, Ryan endorsement of Trump seen as inevitable House GOP faces dilemma on spending bills Overnight Finance: Puerto Rico bill clears panel | IRS chief vows to finish term | Bill would require nominees to release tax returns MORE not willing to call the bill on the floor of the House of Representatives."
White House press secretary Jay Carney acknowledged Wednesday that the reform effort had been blown off course by the fiscal battles.
"The president believes that one of the consequences of these manufactured crises is that time is taken away from the pursuit of other goals we have as a nation," Carney said.
He argued that the legislation was "the opposite of a partisan pursuit" and passing a bill "would benefit both parties."
But Carney refused to handicap the odds of pushing legislation through Congress in the aftermath of the budget battle.
"I don't think I place quantitative odds on any of this," Carney said. "Congress is a difficult institution to make predictions about."
At the time, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob GoodlatteBob GoodlatteIRS head vows to finish term despite impeachment push House Republicans press case for impeaching IRS commissioner Saudis scramble for Washington allies MORE (R-Va.) told USA Today the measure was "basically the Senate bill."
"I strongly oppose the Senate bill," he said.
Republican leaders have instead favored a piecemeal approach to reform, saying that big legislation would be too unwieldy to implement.
But Democrats believe that Republicans simply hope to vote for beefed up border security and employment verification measures without also providing a pathway to citizenship for the nation's workers who are in the U.S. illegally.
This story was updated at 1:36 p.m. Wednesday.