The Corner

GOP Rep: ‘The Important Thing Is to Start Doing Things’ on Immigration

Senate Republican leadership distributed a pamphlet of talking points that contains no mention of immigration or counteracting President Obama’s amnesty orders, but a member of the House leadership is calling for lawmakers to pass at least some immigration-related legislation in 2015.

“We have a responsibility to start moving serious legislation ourselves,” Representative Tom Cole (R., Okla.), deputy whip for the Republican conference, told The Hill in an interview published Monday.  “Now, that doesn’t mean we’ll get everything we want in the bill. Whatever we do is going to be a compromise, but, I think the important thing is to start doing things.”

Cole suggested that Republicans pass legislation related to border security, e-verify, and high-tech visa reform — “so that we sort of take American business out of this debate,” he said — without adopting Obama’s most cherished changes.

Senate Republican leadership isn’t pushing that idea, though, at least not in the pamphlet distributed to members for messaging over the recess and obtained by National Review Online.  Nor does offer any guidance on how members should frame their opposition to President Obama’s administrative amnesty, to the frustration of conservative opponents of the executive orders.

“This is just one more signal GOP establishment doesn’t want to fight Obama’s amnesty — that’s why they are ignoring it and hoping lawmakers won’t gin up opposition,” according to one Republican aide. ”This is an incredible omission from an official party document.”

The pamphlet does coach lawmakers on how to talk about Obamacare. After stating that the GOP “is committed to repealing and replacing it with reforms that lower costs and increase access,” the pamphlet focuses on a few aspects of the law.

“[The GOP w]ill also work to chisel away at most harmful provisions,” the bullet point says, referring to the individual mandate, the medical device tax, and the 30-hour workweek rule.

“GOP must stay focused on Americans’ top priorities,” the pamphlet says, referring to the economy, jobs, and the middle class.

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