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Congress: Threading the needle

"Senate Democrats on Thursday sought to thread the political needle on immigration reform, offering a plan that mixes tough border controls with a pathway to citizenship for 12 million illegal immigrants," Roll Call says. "Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said he wouldn't set a deadline for obtaining GOP buy-in for the plan, but the initial Republican reaction was decidedly negative. Reid described the measure as an 'invitation' to Republicans as he called for a new round of bipartisan talks."    
 
The New York Times writes, "Even as the Democratic senators were still speaking, President Obama issued a statement praising the proposal as 'an important step,' and he warned that lack of federal action would 'leave the door open to a patchwork of actions at the state and local level that are inconsistent and, as we have seen recently, often misguided.'… The statement contrasted with comments he made to reporters a day earlier on Air Force One, in which he suggested that Congress might not have the appetite for an immigration overhaul." 

Roll Call: "Rep. Joe Baca (D-Calif.) is urging his House colleagues to wear bracelets proclaiming their opposition to Arizona's strict new immigration law. Baca, a former chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, distributed the red and navy bracelets -- which read 'No to Arizona's Immigration Law' -- during a series of House votes Thursday evening."  

But House Speaker Nancy Pelosi "declined to endorse an economic boycott of the state that Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.) is spearheading." 

"The House on Thursday approved a bill that could move Puerto Rico to statehood -- exposing a rare and bitter rift between New York members from the island territory," the New York Daily News reports.  
 
Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) blasted the Democratic leadership's handling of the Puerto Rico statehood bill, calling it the "political equivalent of a shady Goldman Sachs derivative: It's secretive. It lacks transparency. It's likely to blow up down the road and cause systemic risk to out democracy. And those who put this political derivative together don't really tell you what this is really about and will play dumb when it explodes."  
 
Rep. Ed Markey "wants the CEOs of the country's largest oil companies to testify on Capitol Hill, signaling increased political pressure on the industry following the Gulf of Mexico oil spill and the Democratic push for climate legislation."