Ayotte to Boehner: Get over ‘trust deficit’

GOP Sen. Kelly Ayotte (N.H.) on Sunday urged House Republicans to take up immigration reform, despite a “trust deficit” with President Obama.

“Here’s the deal: The status quo is totally unacceptable,” she said on CBS’s “Face the Nation” with Bob Schieffer.

{mosads}“I think we should solve this. I think [Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio)] can find a way forward. Certainly, the bill that came out of the Senate was not perfect, but it was a good solution to a hard problem,” Ayotte continued. “I think it’s an important issue to solve — not only for the country but for the Republican Party.”

She also expressed empathy with Boehner, who said on Thursday immigration reform legislation couldn’t move until Obama regained the trust of Congress.

House Republican leadership released broad proposals for immigration reform last week, which Boehner said the caucus “by and large” supported, but he said a majority rejected 2014 as the year to advance legislation.

“There’s a trust deficit that the Speaker is facing right now, and it’s related to ObamaCare and the disastrous rollout. Because, let’s think about it, immigration means doing a lot of complex things well,” Ayotte said. “And in addition to that, the administration keeps issuing executive orders to change the law, very frequently.”

Obama made Republicans furious in last month’s State of the Union address, when he promised to “sign executive orders and take executive actions and administrative actions that move the ball forward” if Congress failed to work with him on top issues.

Meanwhile, on another Sunday program, Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) called the GOP’s bluff on its trust issues with the president.

“Many Republicans have said … they want to do immigration reform, but they don’t trust the president to enforce the law, particularly the enforcement parts,” Schumer told host David Gregory and Republican Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

“So, there’s a simple solution,” he continued, catching Portman off guard. “Let’s enact the law this year but simply not let it actually start ’til 2017 — after President Obama’s term is over.”

Portman, who voted against the Senate’s immigration overhaul last summer, left open the possibility to agreement on the proposal.

“I think some Republicans would be interested in that, if we put in place the enforcement measures so that it would work,” Portman told Gregory. “In other words, be sure the border is secure, [and] be sure that you have a workforce enforcement program that works.”

Tags Immigration reform Kelly Ayotte

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