President Obama pressed for House passage of the immigration bill in his weekly radio address, urging listeners and viewers to contact their members of Congress.
"Tell your Representatives that now is the time," Obama says. "Call or email or post on their Facebook walls and ask them to get this done. Because together, we can grow our economy and keep America strong for years to come."
He noted that lawmakers have been struggling with the issue for more than a decade and credited his predecessor, George W. Bush, for first proposing "the broad outlines of immigration reform."
Obama highlighted what he said was Bush's "very good speech" expressing his hope that an immigration bill can become law and that "if Democrats and Republicans – including President Bush and I – can agree on something, that’s a pretty good place to start."
Obama said a bipartisan majority of senators approved a Senate version two weeks ago and "now the House needs to act so I can sign commonsense immigration reform into law."
The speech comes as the House failed earlier this week to find common ground on legislation that provides a path to citizenship for millions in the country illegally and as Janet Napolitano, one of Obama's point persons on immigration, plans to step down from her post as Secretary of Homeland Security.