After failing to get its desired comprehensive amnesty legislation last Congress, the Chamber of Congress wants Republicans to act on an immigration bill immediately in the next Congress. And it may try to oust GOP lawmakers who try to get in the way.
“There’s one thing they could do right now, and quickly—pass a bill,” Chamber of Commerce CEO and President Tom Donohue told the Wall Street Journal over the weekend.
Though Republicans gained control of Congress largely because the electorate opposed illegal immigration and President Barack Obama’s executive amnesty, Donohue, who half-joked that Republicans were guaranteed to the lose the White House if they did not pass a massive amnesty bill, believes that only a pro-amnesty candidate can win the White House.
“Would you want to run for president in either party if you were opposing an immigration bill?” he asked, proving that amnesty is the one issue that represents the greatest divide between the bipartisan permanent political class in Washington and Wall Street and voters on Main Street.
The Chamber, which hoped that amnesty legislation could be the final act of the last Congress, vowed to spend $50 million last year to get an amnesty bill that the Congressional Budget Office determined would lower the wages of American workers.
And Donohue implied that the group would go after Republicans who either oppose a comprehensive immigration bill or want to defund Obama’s executive amnesty. According to the the Journal, “Donohue warned lawmakers to move beyond intraparty skirmishes and partisan bickering that paralyzed the last Congress, hinting that his group might look to oust lawmakers who try to derail the legislative process.”
Echoing incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-KY) belief that being the party of yes is more important than defunding Obama’s executive amnesty, Donohue emphasized the importance of working with Democrats, passing bills, and governing.
“People want Congress and the Senate to govern,” Donohue said. “They want them to be competent.”
But legislation that voters want often goes against the interests of the bipartisan permanent political class that has spent billions trying to get its coveted comprehensive amnesty bill over the years.