House Dem Chairman: 'Please Don't Equate the Tea Party Republicans with Americans'
The chairman of the House Democratic Caucus said he thinks the "earthquake" of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor's (R-Va.) was due to "being disconnected, somewhat out of touch with the district."
"At the end of the day, people want to us get things done. With this do-nothing legislature, eventually when you do nothing but message bills that never become law, people get it and they understand," Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-Calif.) told MSNBC. "And they send you a message, they don't like it and they react. And I suspect that's what we saw in the 7th District of Virginia."
"I think people make a big mistake if they confuse the result in Eric's race with getting immigration reform done," the Dem leader added. "The question for immigration reform is not if we'll get it done, it's when we'll get it done. It's going to get done."
"Even the majorities of Republicans throughout the country, including in Eric Cantor's own congressional district support, immigration reform comprehensive immigration reform. What people want to know, though, is how to get it done so we don't have to do it again in 10 years."
Becerra stressed that "anyone, any Republican of course who believes this is a message to not get immigration reform and to fix our broken immigration system, I think they do that at their peril."
"And for Republicans in the House, my sense is they're now squeezed between doing things the Tea Party way and the American way. And they're going to find that it's a lot harder to do things the Tea Party way than it is the American way," he said.
Becerra said he thinks there was another message in Cantor's loss: "You can't outright the far right."
"I believe at the end of the day, Eric Cantor was trying to get some things done within his Republican conference. Clearly, they haven't had a chance to come together as a group to get that done," he said. "But to believe that this is a signal to do nothing, I don't think Americans really want a Congress that does nothing. We elect people to get things done."
"There are right now in the House of Representatives, there are a majority of votes to pass immigration reform because we know that there are Republicans, as Joe just said, that are willing to vote for this. Look, the longer they let this simmer, the worse it gets within their party. But please don't equate the Tea Party Republicans with Americans. That's a different -- it's a different animal."