House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) pandered Thursday that getting comprehensive immigration reform passed is more important than winning seats in Congress in 2014. GOP members think that Pelosi is cynically using the failure of any passage of comprehensive immigration reform as a campaign weapon for the November elections.
Pelosi denied that on Thursday, blustering at the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce:
I believe, and I say this with all the sincerity I have, that it is more important to pass comprehensive immigration reform — to me and to my caucus — than to win the election in November.
Pelosi is part of a Democratic party push to revivify Latino support for the party. On Wednesday, Pelosi joined other House Democratic leaders to bring a discharge petition that would force House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) to allow a vote on an immigration bill in the House of Representatives. Pelosi charged, “Some say, ‘You don’t have the votes.’ Well, let’s find out.”
Vice President Biden echoed Pelosi, asserting that passing immigration reform would be “the single most important thing we can do for our economy and for America’s future. It’s a game changer financially for the country.”
In January, Boehner attempted to bring a list of reform “principles” to the House floor, but he was thwarted by members of the GOP, who rebelled and forced him to jettison them. Rep. Xavier Becerra (Calif.), head of the House Democratic Caucus, warned the Hispanic Chamber: “If we don’t get it done soon, if we don’t get a vote in the House of Representatives, we have to start from scratch. I’m not saying vote ‘yes.’ I’m simply saying … give us a vote.”