In a floor speech earlier today, Rep. Luis Gutiérrez offered his congratulations to his friend and colleague Rep. Paul Ryan on his recent election, but lamented “that the new Speaker had to promise not to address immigration reform as a condition of being elected”:
“Maybe those on the other side of the aisle will come up with a new oath of office for leadership positions.
Raise your right hand and repeat after me: ‘I swear that I will not let anything happen on my watch; That I will faithfully uphold and defend the principals of the do-nothing Congress, and pledge allegiance to the do-nothingness for which it stands; That I will ignore all cries for help, no matter how loud from the American people…
And that party unity is more important than the United States of America, so help me Tea Party.”
Rep. Gutiérrez noted that the continued capitulation from Republican leaders to the most extremist members of their party when it comes to immigration, LGBT equality, women’s issues, the environment, and a host of other issues comes at a deep cost to the nation as a whole:
Why would one faction within the Republican Party demand a promise from the new Speaker that he not bring any immigration legislation to the floor? Because the opponents of immigration and immigration reform would lose.
They must demand from the Speaker that the majority not rule in the House of Representatives because the opponents of immigration know they are in the minority.
This is a telling moment for the Republican Party and it is not confined to immigration.
The majority of the country supports Planned Parenthood continuing to provide basic health services and contraception to women, but playing to a smaller segment of their base, Republicans threatened to close down the government in order to block its funding.
They want the minority to rule and they want the tail to wag the dog.
On all of these matters, do-nothingness comes with a cost.
It’s the cost of deported immigrants and businesses that cannot hire people legally. Of women who are denied life-saving health screenings, of honoring families as first class citizens no matter who heads them; of a cleaner planet and safer neighborhoods.
Rep. Gutiérrez “concluded saying there is a political cost to the Republicans of their oath of do-nothingness, but that he is optimistic that eventually, a majority of the majority would ‘let the majority rule in the people’s House.’”