POSTED: Saturday, July 13, 2013 - 11:12am
UPDATED: Sunday, July 14, 2013 - 10:40am
(CNN) — The massive overhaul of the nation's immigration system that was approved by the Senate last month should be adopted by the House, President Barack Obama argued Saturday.
Speaking in his weekly address, Obama pointed to similar immigration changes that were pushed by his predecessor, Republican President George W. Bush, who gave a soft endorsement this week of new reform laws.
'We've been debating this issue for more than a decade -- ever since President Bush first proposed the broad outlines of immigration reform -- and I think he gave a very good speech this past week expressing his hope that a bipartisan, comprehensive bill can become law," Obama said in his address.
On Wednesday, during a swearing-in ceremony for new American citizens, Bush said, "The laws governing the immigration system aren't working. The system is broken."
"I don't intend to get involved in the politics or the specifics of policy, but I do hope there is a positive resolution to the debate," Bush continued. "I hope during the debate that we keep a benevolent spirit in mind. We understand the contributions immigrants make to our country."
Bush didn't specifically mention the immigration reform efforts underway on Capitol Hill.
While the Senate measure gained bipartisan approval, the law has stalled in the GOP-controlled House.
Obama again called on the House to approve the measure, saying some compromise must be possible if he and Bush are in agreement.
"If Democrats and Republicans -- including President Bush and I -- can agree on something, that's a pretty good place to start," he said. "Now the House needs to act so I can sign commonsense immigration reform into law."