Sunday's talk shows offered two different takes on the immediate prospects for immigration reform. White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough said that the administration expects legislation to move forward this year, while Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) refused to commit to that timeline.
Speaking on NBC's "Meet the Press," McDonough said that "we feel pretty good that we'll get a bill done this year."
But Ryan, speaking on ABC's "This Week," pushed back against that notion in response to a question from host George Stephanopoulos. "I really don't know the answer to that question," said Ryan. "That is clearly in doubt."
In discussing immigration principles put forward last week by House Republican leadership, McDonough said that "we think that's pretty good progress in this debate, coming from where they were to where they are now." The Republican document emphasized border security before other changes but did include the possibility of a pathway to citizenship for "Dreamers," undocumented young people who came to the United States illegally as children.
Ryan said Sunday that Republican hangups over immigration reform came down to Republicans not trusting the president. He said that border security and enforcement measures would have to "be in the law, in practice and independently verified before the rest of the law can occur."
"This is not a trust-but-verify, this is a verify-then-trust approach," Ryan said.