Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) may have stopped immigration reform legislation in the House by calling it what it is with one word: “amnesty.”
House Republicans who supported the “immigration principles” reportedly “grumbled Tuesday that the plan was dead on arrival because Cruz blasted it as ‘amnesty,’ spurring a blizzard of negative phone calls to House Republicans.”
“After that it was ‘We’ll get back to you on immigration reform,'” a Republican congressman who declined to be identified told Stuart Powell of Hearst newspapers.
After the House Republican leadership unveiled its “immigration principles,” Boehner eventually had to declare–in what some conservatives still believe may be a head fake to buy time to convince Republicans on the fence to support his legislation–a week later that amnesty legislation would not move forward unless President Barack Obama could ensure that Americans could trust him to enforce the nation’s immigration laws.
After the principles were unveiled, Cruz declared that the bill was amnesty and then elaborated even more to Breitbart News in a statement that was also flashed at the top of the Drudge Report.
“Amnesty is wrong in any circumstance, and if we are going to fix our broken immigration system–and we should–it makes much more sense to do so next year, so that we are negotiating a responsible solution with a Republican Senate majority rather than with Chuck Schumer,” Cruz told Breitbart News. “Anyone pushing an amnesty bill right now should go ahead and put a ‘Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) for Majority Leader’ bumper sticker on their car, because that will be the likely effect if Republicans refuse to listen to the American people and foolishly change the subject from Obamacare to amnesty.”
They may or may not be right, but their argument is that we should focus exclusively on Obamacare and on jobs. In that context, why on earth would the House dive into immigration right now? It makes no sense, unless you’re Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV). Republicans are poised for an historic election this fall–a conservative tidal wave much like 2010. The biggest thing we could do to mess that up would be if the House passed an amnesty bill–or any bill perceived as an amnesty bill–that demoralized voters going into November. Rather than responding to the big-money lobbying on K Street, we need to make sure working-class Americans show up by the millions to reject Obamacare and vote out the Democrats. Amnesty will ensure they stay home.
On Tuesday, Cruz again said that Boehner’s “immigration principles” were “inconsistent with the rule of law” and “a political mistake.” He said that he was “glad to see Republicans in the House agreed.”
“I understand that a lot of folks in the press want to focus on the Washington politics of it all,” Cruz reportedly said. “I think most Americans could not care less about a bunch of politicians in Washington.”
It is that mentality that has made Cruz, a potential 2016 presidential candidate, the leader of the Tea Party movement inside Washington and has propelled him to the lead among Tea Party voters in 2016 presidential primary polls.