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Report: Boehner, Rubio huddle on immigration reform

Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) holds a press conference on Capitol Hill on April 18, 2013 in Washington, D.C. UPI/Kevin Dietsch
Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) holds a press conference on Capitol Hill on April 18, 2013 in Washington, D.C. UPI/Kevin Dietsch | License Photo

WASHINGTON, June 15 (UPI) -- U.S. House Speaker John Boehner met with Sen. Marco Rubio this week to discuss the upcoming congressional debate over immigration reform, sources told Politico.

The website said Saturday Rubio, R-Fla., met with Boehner, R-Ohio, at the speaker's office Wednesday to discuss the so-called Gang of Eight reform plan that Rubio and others had worked out in the Senate.

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Politico said the meeting was a tantalizing clue as to how Boehner planned to manage immigration in the House, where a prickly conservative GOP wing is considered unlikely to go along quietly with any bill passed in the Democrat-controlled Senate.

Boehner has told colleagues he was aiming for a vote before the end of the summer, Politico said.

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The conservatives, however, appeared to be gearing up for a battle. Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., told rock-ribbed conservative commentator Glenn Beck that opponents of immigration reform needed to let their representatives know how they feel.

"This is the most important item in the next four years, what's going to happen in the next couple weeks. ... We have a very short window, six weeks, to kill this bill," Bachmann said.

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Bachmann and other lawmakers appearing with Beck accused the Republican leadership of soft-selling immigration reform in order to lull conservatives into accepting the bill, Politico said. "It's the only way we can mobilize our conference to get informed, for one thing, because they're getting selected information that's designed to promote the bill," said Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, said.

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Meanwhile, the Obama administration used the first anniversary of the controversial Dream Act to urge Congress to quickly pass an immigration reform bill.

"Today thousands of ambitious, hardworking young people have been able to emerge from the shadows, no longer living in fear of deportation," the White House said Saturday in a written statement. "But the steps we took were never meant to be a permanent solution. That's why we need Congress to pass a bipartisan, commonsense immigration reform bill as soon as possible."

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