— From NBC's Mike Viqueira
House GOP leaders, eager for more ways in which to trumpet their opposition to the guest worker and citizenship provisions, announced this afternoon that they'll hold another hearing on immigration next week before officially driving a stake through the heart of the "comprehensive" reform advocated by Bush and other Republicans. The "forum" will feature GOP leaders who will trade observations about what they heard over their summer break in immigration field hearings and in talking to constituents.
At a presser late this afternoon, House Speaker Dennis Hastert left no doubt about where he and the GOP leadership stand on the principal provisions of the Senate bill. "Before guest worker, we need to heal the wound and stop the bleeding," he said, referring to the tide of illegal immigrants coming over the border.
As noted earlier, and not withstanding all this, a plan is in the works to pass a series of border security-only measures before Congress leaves for a campaign recess on September 29.