The chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee said that a “significant” part of the GOP base is overwhelmed by racist beliefs that are stalling immigration reform.
On CNN’s State of the Union Sunday, Rep. Steve Israel (D-N.Y.) was asked about a recent quote from Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.): “I think race has something to do with the fact that they’re not bringing up an immigration bill,” she said. “I’ve heard them say to the Irish, if it were just you this would be easy.”
“The American people want solutions in Congress. They want people to oppose certain policies for the right reasons,” Israel responded before being pressed on whether he believed Republicans in Congress are racist.
“Not all of them, no, of course not. But to a significant extent the Republican base does have elements that are animated by racism and that’s unfortunate,” Israel said.
“Well look, we don’t need to get our base out because frankly we’re ready to pass an immigration bill. And we’d rather pass an immigration bill than worry about the election. We have got 190 Democrats ready to vote on a comprehensive immigration bill today. We can do it today. And we know that not every Republican is going to agree with us on that. It passed the Senate with 67 bipartisan votes. All we need is 20 Republicans, just 20 to vote for that bill and it will be law and we don’t have to have this debate anymore,” he continued.
Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.), chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, called Pelosi’s assertion “both wrong and unfortunate.”
“You know, there have been a lot of executive overreaches by this administration. We see the latest with Lois Lerner and the whole IRS scandal. We’re now finally getting to see the email traffic back and forth. The American people just want to know the truth. They want to know the truth about what really happened and the targeting of conservative groups by the IRS. They want to know what happened in Benghazi. They want to know answers and that’s all that we’re trying to do. Just give us — just cooperate with the Congress. Cooperate with the investigations. Give us the information we’ve requested so our constituents can know the truth,” Walden said.
“Fewer witch hunts, more solutions would be good for America right now,” Israel interjected.
“This is not a witch hunt when you’re trying to find out why the IRS — whether it’s Republican or Democrat, I don’t want the IRS targeting any group, whether it’s liberal or conservative,” Walden said. “And if they have, somebody should be held accountable, and that’s what we’re trying to do.”