Idaho’s Labrador: Negotiators at impasse over guest workers, immigrant health care

Idaho GOP Rep. Raul Labrador told Bloomberg that a bipartisan group of eight U.S. House members may be holding their last meeting Thursday to attempt to agree on a compromise immigration bill. If they fail, he said, the Republicans will likely move ahead with a GOP bill, which would compromise efforts for a bipartisan solution already moving in the Senate.

Bloomberg’s Roxanna Tiron and Kathleen Hunter write that Labrador said the four Republicans and four Democrats are at an impasse over guest workers and health care for legal immigrants.

“If Democrats are unwilling to put certain issues aside, like we have had to as Republicans, then we probably have to proceed forward with a Republican bill,” Labrador told Bloomberg. “I am not willing to say it’s one last meeting, but I do know that there are some people that are just ready to move on.”

Labrador’s comments come midway through a story that quotes Utah Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch saying he remains hopeful about a deal in the Senate to satisfy tech companies’ demands for skilled foreign workers. The Senate Judiciary Committee is working Thursday on its third day of making amendments to a bill brought by the Senate’s bipartisan “Gang of Eight.”

Labrador has said his decision on challenge Republican Gov. Butch Otter in 2014 hinges on prospects for enacting the first major immigration reform since 1986.


Dan Popkey came to Idaho in 1984 to work as a police reporter. Since 1987, he has covered politics and has reported on 25 sessions of the Legislature. Dan has a bachelor's in political science from Santa Clara University and a master's in journalism from Columbia University. He was a Congressional Fellow of the American Political Science Association and a Journalism Fellow at the University of Michigan. A former page in the U.S. House of Representatives, he graduated Capitol Page High School in 1976. In 2007, he led the Statesman’s coverage of the Sen. Larry Craig sex scandal, which was one of three Pulitzer Prize finalists in breaking news. In 2003, he won the Ted M. Natt First Amendment award from the Pacific Northwest Newspaper Association for coverage of University Place, the University of Idaho’s troubled real estate development in Boise. Dan helped start the community reading project "Big Read." He has two children in college and lives on the Boise Bench with an old gray cat.

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