While He Tells Hometown Media He is Trying to “Move” Immigration Bill, Wall Street Journal Reports He’s Working Behind the Scenes Against It
Last week, the Wall Street Journal reported that House Majority Whip Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) was the key voice among House leadership urging inaction on immigration reform in 2014. After stating that Speaker of the House John Boehner “wants to push forward” on reform, the Journal stated, “Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R., Calif.) has said that midterm politics complicates any effort and that it makes more sense to wait, according to people familiar with the discussions. Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R., Va.) is seen as somewhere in between Messrs. McCarthy and Boehner.”
Then, according to an interview with Eyewitness News in Bakersfield and a subsequent article posted online, Rep. McCarthy disputed the notion that he isn’t pushing on immigration, saying, “Me personally, as Whip, I do a lot every single day…Sometimes it’s tough to move it…But, the most important thing is to get it done right.”
Which is it, Rep. McCarthy? Are you counseling inaction on immigration in the backrooms of Congress, or pushing for a vote this year?
In a new twist, Republican leaders are trying out a talking point that blames President Obama for the House’s delay on immigration reform. But the fact is, President Obama doesn’t control the House legislative agenda—Kevin McCarthy, Eric Cantor, and John Boehner do. And they and their fellow Republicans candidates are the ones who will be held accountable by voters in 2014—and again in 2016—if it doesn’t get done.
According to Lynn Tramonte, Deputy Director of America’s Voice:
Rep. McCarthy should know that blocking immigration reform is the fastest way for the national Republican Party to become extinct. They’ll have to change their party symbol from the elephant to the dinosaur. Does Kevin McCarthy really want to be the Pete Wilson of the national GOP?
The idea that Republicans can blame President Obama for their own lack of progress is really ridiculous, the kind of Washington game-playing that drives people outside of DC crazy. Latino voters are following this issue, and they know that there is a legislative branch and an executive branch. They’re expecting action from both—and yes, that includes from Republicans.