After House GOP leaders denied his final plea to bring amnesty legislation to the House floor this year, Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) thanked Reps. Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) for helping him in his efforts.
Diaz-Balart said, “The last year and a half, I have been working non-stop with colleagues on both sides of the aisle to draft legislation that would obtain a majority of the Republicans and a number of the Democrats who are willing to put politics aside and get immigration reform done.”
“In particular, I want to thank Luis Gutierrez for all his help, for his willingness, when necessary, to take on Republicans, Democrats, and the President,” Diaz-Balart said, adding:
I am grateful for the cooperation, advice, and trust I received from so many of my colleagues, specifically Speaker Boehner and his staff. I also want to thank Paul Ryan for his guidance, leadership, and friendship, and countless other House Republicans, like my legislative sister Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), for their constructive input on this issue.
Diaz-Balart reportedly had an amnesty bill ready to go after House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s (R-VA) June primary. His plans, however, were shelved when Rep. Dave Brat (R-VA) ousted Cantor, largely due to Cantor’s support of amnesty for illegal immigrant children and support for more high-tech guest-worker visas, despite the surplus of American high-tech workers.
Ryan was whipping votes behind the scenes to get enough Republicans to support a bill that could be brought to the floor. If that occurred, Republicans could vote against the bill while it passed with the support of Democrats.
Gutierrez has called Ryan his “ally” in his pursuit for comprehensive amnesty legislation. But after Cantor’s defeat, House Speaker Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) told President Barack Obama that Congress will not vote on amnesty this year. Boehner also told Obama that Congress could pass amnesty legislation next year.
“I hope that in the near future, leadership will reconsider and allow my legislation to come to the floor,” Diaz-Balart said. “I want to make it clear that I am ready to proceed at any time.”