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Chamber of Commerce Gives Stark Ultimatum to GOP

Pass immigration reform this year or forget about winning in 2016.

by
Rick Moran

Bio

May 12, 2014 - 3:26 pm

Tom Donohue, President of the US Chamber of Commerce, has given an ultimatum to the Republican party; pass immigration reform or don’t bother fielding a candidate for 2016.

Earth to Mr. Donohue: The most recent Pew survey of the most important issues facing the country places immigration reform in 16th place — just behind “reducing the influence of lobbyists” and just ahead of “Dealing with moral breakdown.”

And a Pew/USA Today poll released just a few days ago shows immigration reform finishing dead last as an issue that matters most in 2014. It received 6% of the vote compared to the economy and health care at 27% and 21% respectively.

The American people don’t care about immigration reform. It’s an inside the Beltway issue being pushed by the business community that wants millions more low wage, low skilled workers.

Donohue’s threats are empty:

Tom Donohue, president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, predicted that Congress would pass immigration legislation this year and said Republicans shouldn’t bother to field a presidential candidate in 2016 if they don’t.

His comments echo warnings from others, including high-profile Republicans, that the GOP cannot win if it does not improve its showing with the fast-growing Latino electorate, and cannot do that without approving an immigration package. The Senate passed a bipartisan bill last summer but it has languished in the GOP-controlled House ever since.

“If the Republicans don’t do it, they shouldn’t bother to run a candidate in 2016,” Mr. Donohue said at an event Monday on infrastructure issues. “Think about that. Think about who the voters are. I just did that to get everybody’s attention.” (His comments are at about the one hour mark on this C-Span video.

Some House Republicans have said they want to pass immigration legislation, including legal status and the chance for citizenship for those in the U.S. illegally. But many in the House are loathe to take on an issue the divides the party during an election year.

Mr. Donohue tried to knock down one popular notion that Congress can still tackle the issue next year, ahead of the 2016 election. “We’re absolutely crazy if we don’t take advantage of having passed an immigration bill out of the Senate because going back and doing it again might be harder,” he said.

Many Republicans recognize a need for some immigration reform. Guest workers, visa reforms, even a modified DREAM Act would pass the House. Reasonable people may disagree about immigration reform but the Senate bill that so enamors Mr. Donohue is far from reasonable. The chamber president is starting to sound like Obama when he was trying to get Democrats to pass Obamacare. “We’ve come this far, let’s finish it,” was the president’s message. Look what that got us.

There’s a very good reason why the GOP is so obstreperous when it comes to immigration reform; the Senate bill stinks. There is a huge divide between the House and the Senate regarding what constitutes “immigration reform” and many Republicans — even those who support some kind of reform — don’t trust House Republicans to resist Senate Democrats on the issues of path to citizenship and border security, to name two.

Donohue resorted to wild exaggeration to try and hammer his point home:

Beyond politics, he said stalling on immigration will have economic ramifications. He said immigrants are needed for all sorts of jobs, including health care. “If you don’t do it (pass immigration), you’re going to go to the nursing home and pick up your mother-in-law and bring her home,” he said.

Utter nonsense, and Donohue knows it. If the nursing home is short staff, maybe they’ll have to raise wages to attract workers. Of course, Donohue and the rest of his Business Roundtable friends want new immigrants so they can keep wages low.

And that’s the whole reason for this tirade. It isn’t about improving the GOP’s position with Hispanics. Republicans will get zero credit for helping to pass it and even if Latinos were grateful, how many votes would switch?

This is about Chamber of Commerce members being able to hire ultra-low paid foreign workers — people who will take any job at any wage.

Republicans must find a way to attract more Hispanics to the party, but they’re not going to do it pandering to immigration activists. Convincing Hispanics that Republican policies are ultimately better for them as Americans is what needs to be done, not some fake “outreach” that will legalize millions of people who snuck in through the back door.

Rick Moran is PJ Media's Chicago editor and Blog editor at The American Thinker. He is also host of the"RINO Hour of Power" on Blog Talk Radio. His own blog is Right Wing Nut House.

Comments are closed.

Top Rated Comments   
The economic rationale for amnesty is negligible: illegal alien workers are cheap BECAUSE they are here illegally. They need to keep a low profile to avoid attracting the attention of ICE, so they accept jobs at below-market wages, no benefits, etc. As soon as they are "legalized", they will be competing on the same level as citizen workers, and will demand, and receive, the same wages and benefits. This is why unions are so keen for amnesty. I wouldn't be surprised if, in the short run, labor costs increased as the result of amnesty. In fact, the only economic incentive for amnesty may be the reduction in administrative costs to businesses that hire them, as HR departments will not have to be as diligent in assuring that employee SSNs, driver's licenses and green cards are legitimate.

What about all the relatives that are expected to join the newly-legalized aliens? Most of them will be spouses, elderly parents, and children, meaning they will be candidates for social welfare services and not appreciably increase the workforce.

If the economic rationale for amnesty is so weak, why does the CoC appear so desperate? The Left dominates the culture, and "amnesty" is a shibboleth of the Left just like "diversity", "gay marriage", and the "green" agenda. The CoC and other business groups want to appear friendly with the prevailing culture, so they support the dogmas of the Left. They then hire spokesmen who are comfortable with these cultural bromides, i.e., leftists.

Make no mistake: Republicans who follow the lead of the Chamber of Commerce are caving to the Left and deserve our condemnation.
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
I nominate the next illegal campesino that comes our southern border to replace Mr. Tom Donohue as president of the Chamber of Commerce!
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
The US Chamber of Commerce is doomed. They have taken the road of AARP and other subverted organizations. For the first time in many decades there are more US enterprises failing than forming. Maybe the Chamber should worry about that.
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (29)
All Comments   (29)
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When President Cruz takes office in 2017, Mr. Donohue should leave Washington, because he won't have anything to do.
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
Even Federal Chairman Yellen has said the US is no longer true capitalism, but has many features of an oligarchy, and if we have a president who fancies himself a dictator, that doesn't mean that we do not also face a threat from corporations willing to sell the American market and worker out for a few more bucks.
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
Well now I can see where the Republicans are getting their ideas about immigration from.

I suggest the Republican party would be better off leaving the confines of the country club set on a more regular basis and spending more time on the front porches of people asking them what they think is important.
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Think about who the voters are."

Just who are these voters who will not vote GOP unless immigration law is reformed?
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
Let's go for the twofer. Amnesty for Immigrants, AND raise the minimum wage.

Hell, reduce payments to health service providers (to save the government money) and make it a trifecta!
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
This seems to be a choice between being executed now or in a couple of years. No thanks for your money, Chamber of Commerce. We'll keep our freedom, use it well in the next two years, and see if the worm turns.
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
Americans like lobbyists just about as much as they like IRS agents. Perhaps Donohue ought to consider that, too.
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
House Republican leaders are Stupid with a capital 'S."
They will swallow Donohue's guff hook, line, and sinker.
Indeed, Boehner and Cantor already have.

The Chamber of Commerce is all about the crony capitalism, so the establishment GOP is, as well. There isn't a whole hell of a lot of difference between them and Democrats - which is why we can't nominate someone like Jeb Bush or Chris Christie in 2016. The GOP needs strong leadership, not another big donor Chamber of Commerce toady.
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
With 73 million out of the workforce, business needs MORE cheap labor?

Welcome to the era (actually, began in the 70s) of the "Professional Manager - MBA".
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
There's been a consensus in Washington as to what "immigration reform" *should* look like for thirty years if not longer, and nobody can get it done. The last amnesty was supposed to be a warmup for this consensus, but the amnesty happened and then nothing else. And the defacto situation is much, much worse now - what *do* we do with twelve million or twenty million or however many illegals, most but not all of whom have respectable stories? If a great law were passed twenty years ago, how many of them would be here today and what would be their status? Probably most of them and just about the same, maybe 10% fewer and 20% better paid, something like that. And that's a story that either or both parties should be able to embrace, if either party had anyone of brains and honor anymore. If we seal the border tight and start a good guest worker program at the same time, I'd be for a shorter path to citizenship for those already invested. But due to the history of this thing, the amnesty has to come last, and best of all separately.

The Chamber of Commerce guy can FOAD.
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
"I'd be for a shorter path to citizenship for those already invested."

Do they come before or after the many thousands of adult children and siblings of American citizens who have been waiting a decade or two for a visa because of immigration quotas. These people will have had background checks, medical exams and have documented that they will not be a burden on the US taxpayer. And, oh yeah, have never flouted our laws.


24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
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