Immigration reform 'comes later next year,' key Republican suggests

Rep. Greg Walden, chief of the National Republican Congressional Committee, said at a Monitor Breakfast that he expects the House to pass immigration reform legislation piecemeal.

Michael Bonfigli/The Christian Science Monitor/File
Rep. Greg Walden (R) of Oregon, chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, speaks to reporters on Nov. 15 in Washington.

Rep. Greg Walden of Orgeon, chief of the National Republican Congressional Committee, which works to elect Republicans to the US House of Representatives, was the guest at the Nov. 15 Monitor Breakfast.

Outlook for GOP gains in the House:

"We clearly have the ability to ... net gain seats in 2014. I am not going to get into specific numbers."

The political effect of the troubled launch of 'Obama­care':

"2014 will be about the president's health-care law.... It has become a Category 5 political hurricane that is ... ripping apart every region of the country."

The danger from GOP intraparty fighting in at least 18 primaries in 2014:

"In nearly every one of those cases, they are solid Republican seats. In nearly every one they are going to be Republican seats."

Response to criticism that the Republican-controlled House has not passed major legislation this session:

"The reality of this city is we are in the minority when it comes to passing legislation."

Outlook for the House to pass immigration reform since the Senate has done so:

"We are looking at real reform that is done a piece at a time, step by step.... My guess is it comes later next year."

Whether he worries about the GOP given unfavorable demographic trends:

"Sure. I think we have to always have a positive agenda.... We need to be better at messaging that agenda.... That agenda needs to cut across demographics and age and everything else."

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