AirTalk for October 17, 2013

Immigration reform, farm bill await Congress as government reopens

Is the timing right for President Obama to push for the passages of these two major pieces of law right now?

Alex Wong/Getty Images

Is the timing right for President Obama to push for the passages of these two major pieces of law right now?

President Obama is calling on Congress to tackle major legislations such as the farm bill and immigration reform now that the shutdown is over for now. An aide to House Agriculture Committee chairman Frank Lucas told Reuters that Congress could renew talks on the $500 billion farm bill as soon as next week. The bill is more than a year past due and could cut funding for conservation programs in exchange for boosting the federally subsidized crop insurance program.

The bill had stalled in the House; Republicans had wanted to drastically cut food stamps in exchange for passage. As to immigration reform, President Obama wants to see it passed by the end of the year. The bill passed the Senate but is stuck in the House.

Is the timing right for President Obama to push for the passages of these two major pieces of law right now? Is there enough momentum in the climate of post-shutdown bipartisan coming together to make that happen? Or is there just too much residual ill-will on the Hill? What happened to the president's other priorities including gun control, universal pre-Kindergarten, closing Guantanamo, and new environmental policies?

Guests:

Lisa Lerer, White House Correspondent, Bloomberg News

David Hawkings, Senior Editor, Roll Call and he writes the Hawkings Here blog


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