Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus will outline a broad policy platform for the GOP in a speech Wednesday, according to documents obtained by Breitbart News and excerpts of the speech provided by the RNC.
Titled “Principles for American Renewal,” the speech addresses 11 topics from the economy to the constitution to debt and budget issues to healthcare. “This speech will highlight the principles that unite Republicans and what we support-not just what we oppose-in this election and for the future,” a talking points document says.
Priebus will also address the hot-button topic of immigration, saying that, while “border security must come first,” Congress should “fix” to America’s “broken immigration system.”
“We need an immigration system that secures our borders, upholds the law, and boosts our economy,” the talking points say.
“The president’s plan to overlook the border crisis and act unilaterally to rewrite our immigration laws is unacceptable and most likely unconstitutional,” he will say in the speech, according to the excerpts the RNC provided Breitbart News. “His plan to make further changes to the system after the election will only make any fix harder.”
“As a nation of immigrants, we must fix our broken immigration system,” Priebus will say. “We can’t reward those who break the laws and punish those who lawfully wait in line.”
While Priebus’ words include many caveats, it’s notable that he is address up the topic, given that it has starkly divided the GOP, so close to the election.
The Wisconsin Republican’s rhetoric on the topic is ambiguous, perhaps deliberately so, given the speech is a pre-election unity speech.
Rhetoric about immigration reform “boost[ing] our economy” is similar to a recent remarks from House Speaker John Boehner–a major champion of a bipartisan immigration deal who backed legal status for millions of illegal aliens earlier this year.
“Immigration reform will help our economy, but you’ve got to secure the border first,” Boehner said at the American Enterprise Institute recently. “We’ve got a mess and everyone knows we’ve got a mess.”
Priebus’ words include additional caveats and leave more room for interpretation and could encompass a wide swath of immigration policy.
For instance, top proponents of “Gang of Eight”-type legislation say their favored policies would help the economy by increasing the size of the labor force. The populist wing of the GOP, led by Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), has argued for limits on immigration levels to increase the wages of American workers – another form of boosting the economy.
The speech comes as several Republican candidates-like Terri Lynn Land in Michigan and Scott Brown in New Hampshire, as well as the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), have attacked Democratic candidates on immigration with apparent success.
It also comes after on the campaign trail last week in Iowa, Priebus was forcefully and aggressively public against Obama’s planned executive amnesty. Priebus said it was “unconstitutional” and demanded Obama back off.
“Here’s the problem: the president’s promised to follow through with his illegal activity,” Priebus said on the trail for Ernst in Iowa. “So I think the bigger issue for us, too, besides pointing out the hypocrisy and the lies, is to also point out to people – which we should do more of – is that he’s promising to follow through with an unconstitutional illegal act. So they’re intending to do this anyway, at least that’s what he’s saying.”
The RNC also provided Breitbart News with quotes from three Republican leaders in Congress backing Priebus’ larger principles that he’ll lay out in the full speech on Thursday-from House Majority Whip Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) and from Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Mike Lee (R-UT).
“Through hundreds of pieces of passed legislation – and through the leadership of Chairman Priebus – the Republican Party is standing up for Americans who value the importance of family, life, and hard work,” Scalise said. “The hard-working taxpayers in southeast Louisiana are hungry for leadership and want the president to be focused on jobs, energy security, and an environment conducive to growing small businesses. While President Obama has failed to provided leadership on these critical issues, I am proud to say that the GOP is fighting for those values and priorities that are important to American families.”
“Reince Priebus is right,” Cruz said. “The path we’re on isn’t working, and Americans deserve a better economy, better healthcare system, better education, and policies that will lift those who are struggling into a lifetime of opportunity. President Obama and the Senate Democrats who follow in lockstep behind him are causing far too many Americans to lose hope in the American Dream. Together, with a Republican majority, we must work to instill confidence in America again by bringing back jobs and restoring America’s leadership role in the world. I particularly appreciate that Reince is highlighting my energy plan–the American Energy Renaissance Act–that will help the private sector create millions of high-paying jobs and, at the same time, make America less dependent on foreign oil.”
“Chairman Priebus has laid out the case for how Republicans should succeed this fall,” Lee added. “We have a broad agenda to address Americans’ economic and national security concerns, while the Democrats are forced to run on their failed record of Obamacare, unemployment, and debt. The choice couldn’t be more clear and it’s up to the American people to decide the course we take.