The next head of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Rep. Ben Ray Lujan (D-NM) argued President Obama will not “poison the well” as Republican leaders have argued—if he moves forward with executive amnesty.
“I don’t believe this is going to ‘poison the well.’ This should encourage everyone to work together, and I am certainly hopeful that we will see more of that,” Lujan said Monday afternoon when asked about how Obama’s expected executive action on immigration will play.
The New Mexico lawmaker told reporters Monday that the immigration ball is in the GOP’s court if they do not like what Obama ends up doing.
“Republicans have been stalling comprehensive immigration reform for over two years now. They’ve had a chance to put a bill up to vote,” he said. “Speaker Boehner has stalled that. If Republicans in the House and Senate aren’t happy with actions that the president will consider—and we’ll see what those look like going forward—they’re in charge. They can put a bill forward. I certainly hope that we can come together and work that way,” he said.
President Obama is expected to take unilateral action on immigration as early as this week, and Republican lawmakers have been looking at ways to block and combat the actions—including using government funding mechanisms, a strategy which contains the threat of a government shutdown, something not lost on the new DCCC chairman.
“Already less than a month removed from the elections, Republicans are once again talking about shutting down the government rather than working with Democrats and the president to tackle the issues facing families across our nation,” he argued.
Lujan—who will be taking over the campaign committee after Democrats took a drubbing in the midterm elections—sounded a positive note about the Democrats’ prospects going forward.
“As the chair of the DCCC, I will work to make sure House Republicans are held accountable for this reckless behavior and that the American people see the clear difference between House Democrats—who have a plan to spur job creation, make college more affordable, raise the minimum wage, and fix our broken immigration system,” he said, arguing that 2016 will be a year to make gains with “a move favorable electorate.”
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) announced Monday that she has tapped Lujan to chair the DCCC, taking over for Rep. Steve Israel (D-NY).