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Shimkus: Immigration Reform In House To Be Handled ‘Bit By Bit’

Republican Congressman Jim Shimkus.
Bill Greenblatt | UPI
Republican Congressman Jim Shimkus.

U.S. Rep. John Shimkus (R-Ill.) says any immigration reform that clears the House will likely be done piece by piece.       

Shimkus echoes Republican leadership who continue to say there’s no way the comprehensive immigration package passed by the Senate will clear the Republican controlled chamber.

“These things can all be handled bit by bit and then you could pull them together later,” Shimkus says.  “But, you won’t see the House passing an overall immigration bill.”

Shimkus says it is possible that some type of reform could pass out of the House that includes a pathway to legal residency for people who are in the nation illegally, but not full citizenship.

As a guest on CBS’s Face the Nation, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) declined to predict whether a bill that creates a pathway to citizenship will ever receive a vote.   

Farm Bill

As its September expiration date approaches, the fate of the federal farm bill remains uncertain.

Earlier this month the Republican controlled House passed a farm bill without nutrition assistance programs that have historically been coupled with federal agricultural polices. The move was strongly opposed by Democratic House Members, including St. Louis Congressman Lacy Clay.

The Senate version of the farm bill does include funding for food assistance.

Shimkus says the House will pass a bill that provides funding for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, commonly referred to as food stamps. But, he says it’s likely that bill will have stronger anti-fraud measures than it has in the past.  

“If you’re going to find money to save and decrease federal spending you have to look at where there’s abuse in the food and nutrition title and reform that to bring it into a system that you can afford and future generations can afford,” Shimkus says.  

Shimkus says the Senate and House may iron out their differences and a nutrition assistance package could once again be paired with agriculture policy, which has been the case for the past 40 years.

Tim Lloyd was a founding host of We Live Here from 2015 to 2018 and was the Senior Producer of On Demand and Content Partnerships until Spring of 2020.