Gutierrez Says It’s "Back to Square One" on Immigration

Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill., was excited last week. For years, he’s waited to move an immigration reform bill through Congress. And he was particularly buoyed when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., punted on an energy and climate change bill in favor of tackling immigration reform first.

But that all changed Tuesday.

“The energy bill is ready. We will move to that more quickly to a bill we won’t have. We don’t have an immigration bill,” Reid says.

What that means is that an immigration reform package hasn’t been through committee hearings. Meantime, the House approved its version of the energy and climate package last summer. And has waited quietly for the Senate to take action.

Gutierrez learned of the Reid’s pronouncement just as he was telling reporters he thought Congress could pass immigration reform between Memorial Day and July 4.

“I like the statement of last week better than the statement of this week,” Gutierrez said. “I guess we’re back to square one.”

But Gutierrez said he’s been on this ride before.

“This is a roller coaster here. But I’m used to it,” the Illinois Democrat said. “I take the anti-nausea medicine. I go up and down and the heights and thrills don’t give me pain any more.”

Gutierrez says he’s confident Congress can pass both the climate bill and immigration reform this summer.