A range of observers are capturing the dire political implications for the Republican Party should they continue to block immigration reform this year.
Daily Kos founder Markos Moulitsas writes a new column in The Hill, titled “GOP DOA in 2016,” that captures how the short-sightedness of the Republican Party likely will inflict tremendous damage on their competitiveness in 2016 – an election cycle that will see a more Democratic-friendly electorate and a more Democratic-friendly map in the U.S. Senate. Moulitsas writes:
[E]ven if the GOP’s 2014 Senate dreams come true, they won’t have more than a two-year rental on the chamber…The Republican Party’s chances aren’t as good as its members think this year — don’t forget that the party was just as optimistic heading into the 2012 contest, which featured a map that was nearly as GOP-friendly as this year’s. But even if their greatest dreams come true this fall, 2016 and the Clinton juggernaut loom just around the corner.
The Washington Post’s Greg Sargent broke an important story yesterday – the news that President Obama floated executive action on immigration by summer should House Republicans continue to block immigration reform legislation. Sargent highlights the political importance of this development, noting how blocking immigration reform now will likely seal the GOP’s fate with Latino voters in 2016:
If House Republicans don’t act on reform in the next few months, it’s likely Republicans will head into the next presidential election without having done anything significant to fix their Latino problem. It’s hard to see a scenario in which Republicans act on immigration reform beyond the summer. If summer comes and nothing has moved, pressure on Obama to utilize executive action to slow deportations will be overwhelming. He’ll likely do something. The right will go into overdrive, making legislative reform even harder. Two immigration reform advocates who have spoken personally with the president in recent days tell me they came away convinced he knows he will have to resort to executive action by summer if Republicans do nothing.
After reading the Sargent piece, National Journal columnist Ron Fournier tweeted, “Provocative question comes to mind while reading @ThePlumLineGS: Is G.W. Bush the last GOP president?”
Yesterday, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) spoke to the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Regarding immigration reform, Ryan said, “We think there’s a way to do it. To me, it’s not a question of if we fix our broken immigration laws, it’s really a question of when.”
If some Republicans are holding out for next Congress, they need to know that the prospects for reform will only grow harder, not easier, with the Republican presidential primary kicking into gear (not to mention the outside possibility that Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) could suddenly be in charge of immigration policy for the upper chamber).
For the Republican Party’s 2016 prospects up and down the ballot, Ryan’s “question of when” can be answered with the following: “now or never.”