The Buzz

The facts, faces and hum of local politics with Steve Kraske and Dave Helling

BuzzChatter Monday: Obama optimistic on immigration reform

02/03/2014 5:00 AM

02/02/2014 1:05 PM

Don’t tell me: You’ve got the post-Super Bowl blues. Now what’s there to look forward to, right? How ‘bout some spicy quotes:

• “If the speaker proposes something that says, right away, folks aren't being deported, families aren't being separated, we're able to attract top young students to provide the skills or start businesses here and then there's a regular process of citizenship, I'm not sure how wide the divide ends up being.” — President Barack Obama

speaking on CNN

about the possibility of a breakthrough on immigration.

What Obama would give up in the ongoing negotiations is a new pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants, something he has said he wants. It goes without saying that the president badly needs a victory on something — anything — right now to give his second term a reason for being.

• “Obamacare is on borrowed time.” — House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, a Republican from Virginia, speaking on CBS’ “Face the Nation.”

Cantor said the need for an alternative will grow as more people sign up for coverage and are, in his words, negatively affected. He promised that House Republicans will offer an alternative this year.

• “The fact that our Senate is moving first on [the bill] this year may be an indication that we might move this year. If the Senate is successful, it will move in the House.” — Missouri House Speaker Tim Jones

speaking to The Washington Post

about the likelihood of new voter identification laws in the state.

GOP are feeling pretty good about the prospects of passing a new law — a constitutional amendment — this year. The Senate has proven to be the obstacle in recent years. Republicans say they’ve addressed concerns the state Supreme Court has had. Democrats, including Secretary of State Jason Kander, the state’s chief elections officer, insist the measure is unconstitutional. Gov. Jay Nixon, a Democrat, has yet to weigh in. If it passes, Missouri would become one of five other states with strict voter ID laws.

• “Enough stalling. More American energy means more American jobs – and this shovel-ready project would create tens of thousands of American jobs at no cost to taxpayers. President Obama needs to use his pen to approve the Keystone XL Pipeline now.” — Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt, a Republican.

A report out Friday said the project would not substantially worsen carbon pollution. The New York Times concluded that the report now leaves an opening for the president to approve what has been an intensely controversial project for years now. The White House response: “He’ll deliberate and take the time he needs,” a spokeswoman said. Environmentalists, who helped elect the president, will flip if Obama signs off on this deal.

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