President Barack Obama vowed to pick back up a push on immigration reform after he and Congress resolve a stalemate over the budget and lifting the federal debt ceiling.
"We had a very strong Democratic and Republican vote in the Senate," Obama said of immigration legislation that stalled in Congress, in an interview with Univision's KMEX in Los Angeles. "The only thing right now that’s holding it back is again, Speaker Boehner not willing to call the bill on the floor of the House of Representatives. So we’re going to have to get through this crisis that was unnecessary, that was created because of the obsession of a small faction of the Republican Party on the Affordable Care Act. Once that’s done, you know, the day after I’m going to be pushing to say, call a vote on immigration reform. And if I have to join with other advocates and continue to speak out on that, and keep pushing, I’m going to do so because I think it’s really important for the country. And now is the time to do it."
Obama told the station he believed the shutdown would end by Thursday -- the day the Treasury Department has warned the debt ceiling would need to be lifted to prevent a default.
"I believe that it will end," Obama said. "The question is whether or not the members of Congress and the House of Representatives in particular, whether the Republican Party comes to its senses and says, this was a bad strategy from the start.
"Whether they recognize that overwhelmingly the American people think this was a bad thing to do," he said. "And then we can move on and have debates around a whole range of other issues. But, you know, I think a lot of Republicans recognize we shouldn’t have done this in the first place; at least out there. Now we’ve got to make sure that they’re paying attention in Congress."