Chamber of Commerce to GOP: pass immigration reform or don’t ‘bother to run a candidate in 2016’

U.S. Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Thomas Donohue can’t make the imperative for the GOP any clearer than this: Chamber Of Commerce Head: Without Immigration Reform, Republicans ‘Should Not Bother’ To Run In 2016:

Image: Latinos protest in favor of comprehensive immigration reform while on West side of Capitol Hill in WashingtonU.S. Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Thomas Donohue said Monday that the Republican Party “should not bother to run a candidate” in the 2016 presidential election unless Congress can pass immigration reform this year. During an event on the economy and infrastructure, Donohue argued that it was necessary for the House to “do something rational” and that the Chamber of Commerce would “put a lot more” heat on Congressional members who are resistant to the idea of reform, Politico first reported.

When asked by a moderator what he deemed a “must pass bill … that’s crucial for the future of the U.S. economy,” Donohue insisted on passing immigration reform:

We’ll be absolutely crazy if we don’t take advantage of having passed an immigration bill out of the Senate. Going back and doing it again might be harder and do something rational in the House and put it together and let’s get the three or four things we really need there. And we’ve got a lot of heat on that and we’re going to put a lot more.

[…] If the Republicans don’t do it, they shouldn’t bother to run a candidate in 2016. I mean, think about that. Think about who the voters are.

Donohue’s comments prompted some audience members to say, ”Wow. Wow!” while the moderator told people to tweet the comments.

The voters that Donohue referred to are likely Latino voters who could impact the 2016 election since a 2013 Latino Decisions poll found that at least 63 percent of Latino voters say that they personally know someone who is an undocumented immigrant. Another Latino Decisions poll found that 63 percent of Latino voters “would view House Republicans somewhat or much less favorably if House Republicans block immigration reform.” And a report released last week by the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials projected that there may be 28 million eligible Latino voters for the 2016 election. As a reference, Latino voters made up 17 percent of the 2012 vote in Florida, 37 percent in New Mexico, 18 percent in Nevada, and 14 percent in Colorado.

Donohue previously said that the Chamber would “support candidates who want to work within the legislative process to solve the nation’s problems.” But the Chamber has nonetheless continued to endorse and fund candidates who oppose the Senate-approved immigration bill . . .

. . . “We can’t quit you!” The Chamber continues to be the problem, not the solution. End the GOP tribalism, and set yourselves free.

House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) declined to set a deadline during a Hispanic Chamber of Commerce event with the Texas Tribune in San Antonio Monday. He said that immigration reform should be done “sequentially” in “four, five, six … bite-sized portions” over “a week or two” or even a month, because smaller bills would encounter less opposition. Although he insisted at the event that immigration reform was “not about politics. It’s about doing the right thing for the American people,” he also has acquiesced to Tea Party demands to not act on a set of immigration principles that he released and most recently walked back from mocking House Republicans for thinking that reform is “too hard.”

Greg Sargent of the Washington Post mocks the “Worst. Speaker. Ever.” today, “[H]e does remember that he’s Speaker of the House, right? And that he can schedule a vote whenever he wants, on whatever he wants?” It has to be done before the August recess or it is just not going to happen.

One response to “Chamber of Commerce to GOP: pass immigration reform or don’t ‘bother to run a candidate in 2016’

  1. I went to my friend’s change of status hearing yesterday in immigration court. After 12 years in the US, five years of immigration proceedings, two stints in private immigration prison, and thousands of dollars, he was granted permanent residence status.

    The DHS lawyer had a paper file three inches thick on him. We– the American people– probably wasted $50-60,000 prosecuting, warehousing, and pushing papers related to this one case. And– he’s is the category of immigrants that Obama says he won’t pursue.

    The system is beyond screwed up, and the US Senate version of immigration reform (which forces a 10-year immigration process) is absurd. Helping him through a five-year process was stressful for him, his wife, his family, and everyone around him. The current system only benefits lawyers and private prisons.