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House Republican Leadership’s Disingenuous Game on Immigration

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It’s Always About Getting to “No” Without Plotting a Way to Get to “Yes”

Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) has consistently said that immigration reform “needs to get done.”  Yet when it comes to turning rhetoric into action, Boehner the rest of Republican leadership always find a way to get to “no.”

According to Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice: “Every time there is an opportunity to advance immigration reform in the House, Speaker Boehner, Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA), or Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) always find a way to shut it down.  But the legislative window is rapidly closing on them, and it’s decision time.  At end of the day, talk is cheap and action is what matters.”

Yesterday provided just the latest example of House Republican leaders’ disingenuous game on immigration.  When asked if he would support including the ENLIST Act as an amendment to the defense authorization bill, Speaker Boehner joined Eric Cantor in rejecting it, going so far as to call its potential inclusion on this bill “inappropriate.”

Boehner’s claim that he had “supported it in the past” went unchallenged in the media, despite no actual evidence to support it.

“When it comes to advancing immigration reform, House Republican leaders are full of excuses.  It’s always the wrong time, the wrong bill, or it’s Obama’s fault.  The excuses don’t even make sense anymore.  Letting committed and qualified young people serve in the military has nothing to do with a military authorization bill?  Give me a break.  The excuses from Boehner, Cantor, and company just don’t pass the laugh test,” said Sharry.

Yet whenever he quashes a legislative way forward, Boehner is careful to leave the legislative door open a crack.  To witness, when asked yesterday if he would consider bringing ENLIST forward as a stand-alone measure, Boehner noted that there have been “discussions about that, but no decisions.”

“We’ve heard this song and dance before.  But the fact remains, it’s been 326 days since the Senate passed its immigration bill.  Throughout that year, Speaker Boehner has refused to put immigration reform to a floor vote, despite having enough votes for passage, but has made time for several votes on Steve King-inspired, anti-immigrant measures.  Majority Leader Eric Cantor promised to introduce his version of the DREAM Act, yet the only concrete action he’s taken has been to block even the most small-bore measure affecting this group, the ENLIST Act.  Once again actions speak louder than words, and Republican leaders’ actions against immigration reform are piling up,” Sharry concluded.

326 Days Since Senate Passed its Immigration Bill; 38 Days Left Until Window of Opportunity Closes