Republicans have a moth-to-flame relationship with Rep. Steve King.
Privately they’ll tell you he’s an asshole, but when it comes to votes, there’s no doubt about it, King is running the show.
That’s why the least productive, if not counter productive, Congress in history has allowed no votes on immigration reform — but has voted three times to end DACA and deport DREAMers, an idea originally pushed by Steve King.
The majority of the Americans support immigration reform with a pathway to citizenship, and the majority of Congress does, too. But a majority of Republicans apparently do not, which is where we’re stuck because they control the House. So Boehner is letting Steve King dictate the House’s immigration strategy drive the entire Republican Party off a major demographic cliff.
Boehner is allowing Steve King and his Tea Party allies to override the 230 members of the House who support passing immigration reform this year. The irony is that Steve King will not be the first to suffer the consequences of his own political ignorance. King’s district has a small but growing Latino population. Paul Ryan, on the other hand, is a different story.
Ryan has represented Wisconsin’s 1st congressional district since 1999. During that span, he has seen the Latino population grow from 6.3 percent to 9 percent, which is a 43-percent increase over the course of a decade. Ryan’s district now has the second-largest Latino population in the state. Yet, John Boehner has allowed Steve King and a small group of House Republicans to block immigration — which Latinos and Americans in general support by large margins – and Ryan has sat idly by.
Reflecting the growing diversity in his district, Ryan has generally said very supportive things about immigration reform, and has said that we need to pass legislation. But that’s it. It’s time for him to put his money where his mouth is. Signing the discharge petition would be a concrete action Ryan could take to grab the power back from Steve King.
A discharge petition might be the only way House Republicans get to pass legislative immigration reform. Otherwise, they’ll remain stuck as the anti-Latino, anti-immigrant party, known for voting three times against DACA and DREAMers.