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Transcript of Rahm Emanuel Monitor Breakfast

(Page 10 of 12)

Q: Back to immigration. Is there not also a factor here that circuits a little overloaded on congress, some telling you you can’t handle major reform? Is that a factor?

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RE: Well, there is no doubt we’ve got 3 major issues up there right now. Because a lot of the stuff we dealt with was – we’ve kind of seen this in four quarters, let me break it down that way.

The first quarter was to get the recovery act, children’s healthcare, the budget [inaudible]. And by the way, let me just drive off the road for one second on a detour. The children’s healthcare bill passed with legal immigrants’ children covered, the first type of coverage like that done in 10 years, since the reform of the balanced budget that reformed the welfare act of ’96. And not unnoticed by immigrant groups. The first significant legislation out of the floor of the House or the Senate since ’96 [rest inaudible].

The second act was what we called the consumer reform legislation – the kids’ tobacco bill, the credit card bill, the housing bill, the mortgage bill, the financial fraud legislation, and the anti-waste in procurement reform legislation.

The third stage was to mark up the significant three bills, financial regulatory, energy, and healthcare. We’re on progress with all of that.

The fourth stage, which would be in the fall, is to wrap those up and get them done by year-end.

Q: Could you repeat that?

RE: Can I repeat it?

Q: I didn’t hear it.

RE: Backwards? [laughter]

Q: Just Q4.

RE: Q4 is to wrap em up, get 'em done by the end of the year.

I wanna finish what I was saying: It’s not impossible to do it this year. I think everybody agrees that, we all as a party agreed that those were gonna be the priorities to get done. Could you get it in this year? Yes. I think the more significant thing is to get it started now so you’re able to move to it with due speed.

Q: So that is a factor?

RE: Look, these are big – look, healthcare’s been around for 40 years, since Truman. Five presidents have tried it. OK? The energy bill is, ya know, been – I mean, we’ve been dealing with this as a country since ‘73. And the financial regulatory, given what happened, and the trillions of dollars it’s taken to clean up the mess, is the component – you know, the first step was doing what we had to do to stabilize the financial system. The second step is to make sure that it doesn’t happen again.

Those are big pieces of legislation. Can the system handle it? Yes, but there’s a timing issue. And you gotta move all the time. But it’s not like if you’re not doing immigration reform, per se, there isn’t progress being made on dealing with immigration. If I get one point across, I want, ya know, whether that’s done with what we did with the children’s healthcare bill, what we’re doing administratively, and also getting the legislation paired up. And sometimes maybe ya know the Senate moves faster than the House or the House moves faster than the Senate. But ya know, it’s without a doubt – comprehensive immigration reform is kinda the first among all equals, but it’s not like other issues as it relates to the immigrant community are not being done or dealt with.

Q: Purpose of recent meeting with Lisa Madigan? Was this 1, 2, or 3 meetings? Who called the meeting?

RE: I don’t honestly remember who called the meeting. I don’t remember who called the meeting.