The decision was widely seen as a slap both at the Senate and the president, who has been pushing hard for a comprehensive immigration bill that would tighten border controls, establish a new guest worker program and offer most of the nation's estimated 12 million illegal immigrants a chance to become citizens. The announcement came shortly after Bush left the country on a trip to Europe.
House Republicans have long frowned upon the president's approach, passing instead a bill that would tighten border controls, clamp down on employers who hire undocumented workers and declare illegal immigrants and those who assist them to be felons. Their position solidified this month after a California special election to replace jailed former Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham (R). Republican candidate Brian Bilbray won the seat, beating back a tough Democratic challenge by running hard against the president's approach.
Today's decision by the GOP seals victory for the Democrats in this year's congressional elections. The retribution in this election will be dealt to the party by the nation's growing Hispanic population, many business owners and managers who badly wanted the reforms for the growing immigrant workforce and Americans turned off by the immigrant-bashing policies being advocated by so many GOP candidates.