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Bipartisan House immigration talks foundering, Republican warns

From Deirdre Walsh, CNN Senior Congressional Producer
updated 5:55 PM EDT, Wed May 15, 2013
  • Bipartisan House immigration talks have hit stumbling block, Texas GOP Rep. John Carter says
  • Carter warns House GOP may move its own immigration reform bill
  • Carter says Democrats, GOP disagree over extension of new health care benefits to undocumented residents
  • Negotiators still working out differences on guest worker visas

Washington (CNN) -- A group of House members working on bipartisan immigration reform legislation remain unable to reach a final deal, one of the Republicans involved in the talks told CNN Wednesday.

And now time is running out, the congressman warned.

Noting that the group of four Democrats and four Republicans is scheduled to meet again Thursday, a frustrated Rep. John Carter, R-Texas, said, "Tomorrow night as far as I'm concerned is the last night I'm going to meet."

"I want it done tomorrow night," Carter emphasized.

The six-term congressman warned that House Republicans -- who constitute a majority in the chamber -- may be prepared to move ahead with their own proposal.

"There's going to be a bill," he stressed, adding that after four years of work on the issue he plans to personally introduce one.

"We've got bipartisan agreement on 95% of the (plan). I don't know why we can't get the rest of it," he said.

The key sticking point, Carter said, is whether to extend coverage provided in President Barack Obama's health care reform law to the roughly 11 million undocumented residents now in the United States.

Democrats in the group favor extending the coverage; Republicans are staunchly opposed.

Negotiators are also still ironing out differences relating to guest worker visas, Carter said.

A Democratic aide told CNN that House Republicans are resisting agreeing to a version of the guest worker visa proposal included in the Senate's bipartisan "Gang of Eight" plan.

That proposal is currently working its way through the Senate Judiciary Committee.

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