Even though immigration reform already passed the Senate overwhelmingly, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), in a contentious fight for reelection, contended today that it’s unlikely to get through Congress because of an “irresolvable conflict” between the House and Senate.
"I think we have a sort of an irresolvable conflict here," McConnell told reporters at the Capitol when asked about House Republicans' released immigration principles at their retreat last week. "The Senate insists on comprehensive; the House says it won't go to conference with the Senate on comprehensive; it wants to look at step by step. I don't see how you get to an outcome this year with the two bodies in such a different place."
That insistence of a "conflict" is despite despite President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner appearing to be open to finding common ground on the issue this year, including taking a piecemeal approach and eschewing an explicit path to citizenship.
Of course, many conservatives are nervous about bringing up an issue that could upset their base supporters come this fall. Conservatives feel they have momentum heading into the midterm elections after the bungled health-care website rollout and the president's struggling approval ratings.
McConnell is certainly one who does not want to see that momentum stanched. He is in a tough reelection fight, but more than that, if Republicans net the six seats necessary to take over the Senate, McConnell is in line to become majority leader.