As the House begins to take up comprehensive immigration reform legislation, Richard Viguerie’s Conservative HQ sent a warning to Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI): don’t commit political suicide by becoming the House’s version of Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL).
“We are still astonished and disappointed in how Florida Senator Marco Rubio squandered his conservative and Tea Party movement base by becoming the face of S. 744 – [the Senate’s bill],” the outlet wrote on Thursday.
Rubio’s support among conservatives and Republicans has plummeted since he championed the Senate’s bill, and he has not mentioned the bill since it passed the Senate more than three weeks ago.
Conservative HQ does not want to see Ryan meet the same fate. The site’s staff members write that “it looks like another promising Republican,” Ryan, “is about to follow Rubio down the plank and over the side into the shark-infested waters of granting amnesty to illegal immigrants.” Ryan, they argue, “should be smarter than to get sucked-into supporting anything remotely resembling the corrupt pork and special interest favor bloated Senate bill.”
Ryan recently told the Associated Press that he is keeping in touch with the House’s “Gang of Seven,” a group of bipartisan lawmakers focusing on immigration law. The “Gang” includes Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL), who said Ryan is his “guiding light. I know I get him in trouble every time I say it.” Ryan has also clashed with conservative talk radio hosts Laura Ingraham and Mark Levin about the immigration bill’s impact on working-class Americans.
Senior White House aides reportedly “often mention” Ryan “as crucial to the prospects for legislation this year” and hope that Ryan could “sway recalcitrant House members.” In addition, Ryan is associated with business and Catholic groups who are “backing an overhaul of immigration laws.” The Associated Press states Ryan urged House Republicans in a closed-door meeting last week to seize the moment to pass sweeping immigration reform.
Conservative HQ claims that Ryan has a “penchant for granting the kind of deference to the interests of the establishment Republican Party’s corporate paymasters,” which include the “shills for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the cheap labor opportunists and the inside-the-Beltway party hacks of the ‘buy the Hispanic vote’ wing of the Republican Party.”
According to Conservative HQ, while Tea Partiers and conservatives want to have honest discussions about how to solve the country’s immigration problem but are wary of harmful side effects which could result from the current legislative push:
What they are not prepared to do is dole out millions of dollars in slush funds to radical Hispanic political organizations like La Raza, grant vast new powers to the federal executive branch, insulate it from Congressional direction and oversight, bring millions of new clients for the welfare state from illegal and ineligible for benefits status to legal and eligible for benefits status and grant blanket amnesty to illegal immigrants who are in jail.
The authors urge Ryan to preserve his political capital and reject attempts to pass comprehensive immigration reform legislation akin to the Senate bill.
“We welcome Paul Ryan to the debate on how best to apply conservative principles to immigration reform – something that eluded Senator Rubio,” Conservative HQ writes. “However, if Paul Ryan wants to avoid Marco Rubio’s fate he must begin by publicly and forcefully rejecting the corruption, pork and special interest favors of Rubio’s Gang of Eight bill.”