Here is how a bunch of Republicans spent their Wednesday (from NBC News):
Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., told attendees at the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce’s Legislative Summit in a keynote speech that immigration reform legislation is “not a question of if, but when.”
Reince Priebus, chairman of the Republican National Committee, said immigration doesn’t have an easy solution. “We have to do something,” he said.
Texas Republican Sen. John Cornyn [who is, by the way, the longtime winner of our ‘Biggest Hypocrite on Immigration‘ award], who voted against the Senate’s comprehensive immigration bill, kicked off the summit with emphatic support on immigration reform, citing the human toll inaction has inflicted.
Then House Republicans gathered on the floor, where Democrats were attempting to push through a procedural tactic that would’ve brought HR 15, the House immigration bill, up for a vote. You know, HR 15, the bill that would’ve enacted immigration reform with a pathway to citizenship, an issue the House hasn’t touched at all this Congress, despite making time for multiple votes defunding DACA and deporting DREAMers.
Every. Single. Republican. Voting. opposed the tactic, and HR 15 was not brought up for a vote.
The juxtaposition should make it clear: Republicans are talking the talk without walking the walk. At every opportunity, they spout excuses for why they haven’t passed reform. Some of them claim that they support immigration and citizenship. But the prevailing attitude of the current House GOP is a paralyzing fear that prevents them from standing up to their shrinking base and doing what is absolutely necessary for them to preserve their electoral future. But as Paul Ryan said, immigration reform is a matter of when, not if — so if this Congress won’t hold a vote on the 11 million, we’ll elect a Congress that will.