Laura Ingraham asked Representative Paul Ryan on her radio show today why he supports immigration reform that could harm middle-class Americans. She asked him, “The CBO report says that [the Gang of Eight] approach, which would allow in all these people, would drive wages down. How can Paul Ryan, the man behind the growth agenda, say that driving American wages down is a good thing over the next twelve years, for the middle class who is struggling in Wisconsin and beyond?”
Citing a data point from the CBO’s recently released score of the Senate bill, Ingraham argued that, while the Senate proposal may be supported by the Chamber of Commerce and big business, it would harm wages for working-class Americans. “If the amnesty happens, those people are going to be able to compete across every job line, across every employment sector,” she said. ”How does flooding the marketplace with more laborers to compete across every workplace environment – how is that good for the American middle class?”
Ryan didn’t respond directly to the charge, but said he had real concerns with the Gang’s bill that he’s confident the House can address. In fact, he said, “We’re not going to vote on the Senate bill. We’re doing it our own way on a separate track, and we are being very methodical about this . . . We know where the Senate bill has failed. We have an obligation to fix it in the House.”
He acknowledged skepticism about the concept of reform, but emphasized it’s necessary: “We’ve never gotten this right. We didn’t get it right in ’86, we didn’t get it right in ’96. What we want to do is have immigration reform that is enduring and lasting . . . We need to fix this thing in the House.”
But Ingraham wasn’t too impressed with Ryan’s promise that he and House Republicans can repair the bill: ”You guys are dreaming,” she said.