Based on House Republican documents reviewed by Breitbart News, pro-amnesty Republican freshman Rep. Carlos Curbelo of Florida will be delivering the Republican’s Spanish-language address in response to Obama’s State of the Union speech.
Curbelo recently made waves with a January 18 interview in The Hill, which focused on his strong dissent from the basic Republican position on immigration and all but stated his support for Obama’s executive amnesty.
The Florida Republican is a vocal supporter of actions on immigration reform that many in the GOP have rejected, including a Senate-passed bill that House Republican leaders have refused to bring up for a vote.
Curbelo also says his fellow House Republicans were wrong this summer to try to end protections for illegal immigrants brought to the United States children, putting them at risk for deportation.
Now, as President Obama prepares to act unilaterally to relax policies for as many as 5 million illegal immigrants, Curbelo is again at odds with the majority of his party.
Boehner may be talking a good game in regards to fighting the White House on immigration, but it’s difficult to square that with his choice of Curbelo to deliver this particular address. If anything, it’s more likely to be viewed as a nod to Hispanics that the GOP isn’t as serious as they sound in terms of opposing Obama on an issue viewed as critical by many Americans.
Boehner has vowed to fight Obama’s executive action “tooth and nail,” and some conservatives have even floated impeachment.
Curbelo’s response has been more measured: The president shouldn’t act alone. But if he does, it might not be illegal.
Curbelo was also one of 26 Republicans to break ranks on the recent vote for the Blackburn Amendment to defund Obama’s executive amnesty.
Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-NC) was the first Republican to break ranks. “Ellmers is [the] first GOP no vote,” Politico’s Seung Min Kim Tweeted as the vote began.
The other Republicans who voted against the measure, which passed, are: Reps. Mark Amodei (R-NV), Mike Coffman (R-CO), Ryan Costello (R-PA), Carlos Curbelo (R-FL), Jeff Denham (R-CA), Charlie Dent (R-PA), Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL), Bob Dold (R-IL), Chris Gibson (R-NY), Richard Hanna (R-NY), Joe Heck (R-NV), Crescent Hardy (R-NV), John Katko (R-NY), Tom MacArthur (R-NJ), Peter King (R-NY), Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ), Martha McSally (R-AZ), Pat Meehan (R-PA), Devin Nunes (R-CA), Dave Reichert (R-WA), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chris Smith (R-NJ), Fred Upton (R-MI), and David Valadao (R-CA).
In the previously mentioned item from The Hill, Florida-based Republican strategist Ana Navarro seemed to be suggesting that Curbelo ran to the right to get elected but might not hold that line now that he’s in office.
“The Republican Conference and House leadership,” she said, “would be smart to look to their three South Florida colleagues to craft a pragmatic solution to move forward on immigration.”
In an interview, Garcia said Curbelo was forced to run to the right on immigration during his tough primary but said he believed his GOP opponent is sincere, when he says he wants to help pass immigration reform.
“In an election, I think he had to take certain positions that I assume, in his heart of hearts, were difficult and so he readjusted,” said Garcia, who had breakfast with Curbelo last week in Washington. “There is no way you can live in and love Miami, and not understand that this is an imperative issue for our nation.”
Finally, from a previously released Senate document excerpted below, Republicans in the upper chamber are at least not giving Obama a complete pass on immigration in their SOTU response. House documents obtained by Breitbart News show no signs of House Republicans challenging Obama on the issue of illegal immigration or his executive amnesty at all.
Obama on Immigration: The president used his executive authority to keep millions of families together because Congress had not been willing to send him a comprehensive reform bill. Because Congress wouldn’t act, the president had to. The same authority has been used multiple times by other presidents on immigration and other issues.
Reality: At least 22 times the president said he lacked authority to act unilaterally on immigration and recognized that any such action was within Congress’ authority under the constitution. He said in 2010, “I am obliged to execute the law. That’s what the Executive Branch means.” Congress has passed clear laws on immigration, but now the president has chosen not to execute those laws. Rather than ignore the law of the land, he should work with Congress to fix our immigration system.