A little over a week ago, Speaker Boehner and the House Republican Conference released their so-called ‘principles’ for immigration reform. Just days later, however, Boehner showed the emptiness of the Republican commitment to reform by blaming President Obama and his Administration for the GOP’s failure:
There’s widespread doubt about whether this administration can be trusted to enforce our laws…and it’s going to be difficult to move any immigration legislation until that changes.
How did the Speaker’s lame excuse play out on the editorial page?
It’s not the president’s fault that Boehner can’t persuade the most conservative Republican House members to do the right thing. Instead of giving up, the speaker ought to bring up for a vote the bipartisan immigration bill passed last year by the Senate and allow sensible Republicans to vote with Democrats and approve changes that would benefit Florida and the nation.
In fact, Boehner’s latest attack on the president is an attempt to shift attention and blame from his own failure to bring together House Republicans on immigration.
The problem, of course, is that Boehner could not sell even these broad outlines to the conservative House members from his own party. Those conservatives said this week they want to wait until next year to tackle the issue and hope Republicans can take control of the Senate. But what they want is not really reform.
No, John Boehner, you don’t get a pass. We will not accept bait-and-switch. We will not be stuck with the status quo. We will not let you off the hook. The excuses aren’t new either. Just unacceptable. So get tough, Mr. Boehner. There is no safe, easy way. Do the hard work. Get this done.
The suggestion that the president doesn’t or wouldn’t enforce immigration laws is transparently false…the speaker’s assertion is a smoke screen designed to obscure the fact that rank-and-file Republicans refuse to tackle immigration reform.
Let’s be clear: If the House refuses to take up immigration reform this year, it’s not on Obama. It’s on Boehner.
Using an excuse like that one to avoid working on immigration reform shows monumental insensitivity on the part of the Republican caucus…the journey of the House majority when it comes to immigration so far has been a farce.
…Mr. Boehner slammed on the brakes, offering the weakest of excuses. The Republican leader said it would be difficult to convince his caucus that President Obama would enforce any immigration bill…
That excuse doesn’t pass the credibility test. Why pass any law at all, if that’s the case? Why not just pack up and go home?
The speaker blamed his reversal on the president, saying “there’s widespread doubt whether this administration can be trusted to enforce our laws.” But this excuse doesn’t pass the laugh test. Boehner had been pounded by critics worried about primary challenges from the right to Republican incumbents.
There’s an easy way to describe House Republicans’ continued reluctance to pass an immigration overhaul that provides a pathway to citizenship for the 11 million people residing in this country illegally: selfish.
Rather than cooperate, House Republicans apparently find it more appealing to attack Democrats by demonizing Obama…If they don’t care about cultivating new voters, they should care that many of the businesspeople among their most reliable financial supporters want immigration reform, too.
After a Republican issues retreat and an apparent tea party uprising, which is threatening Boehner’s speakership, the GOP has only one thing to say: Blame it on Obama. This position would be laughable if it weren’t so transparently cynical.
…blaming the president is a far cry from solving a real problem.
That’s disingenuous. The real issue is that there is nothing approaching consensus in the House Republican caucus about what should be in an immigration reform plan, particularly when it comes to dealing with the millions of people who are in the country illegally. House Republicans had a chance to fix a flawed immigration system, shrink the deficit and expand the economy. And they took a pass.
This is short-sighted political gamesmanship, and is not worthy of our nation’s representatives.
Immigration reform is a matter of compassion. It is the right thing to do for U.S. citizens and for those law-abiding individuals who wish to be citizens. And for the millions of hard-working people whose lives are in limbo, reform of the nation’s immigration laws are needed now, not in a political campaign cycle that is convenient for Republicans.
The American people have had enough of the GOP’s games and excuses. Speaker Boehner, stand up to the “dark vein of intolerance” within your party and listen to the American people. The time to pass comprehensive immigration reform is now.