Idaho Rep. Raul Labrador staunchly defended the Republican party on Wednesday, arguing that Democrats are the ones who should bear the blame if immigration reform fails.
Appearing on MSNBC’s Now With Alex Wagner, Labrador said that if Sen. Chuck Schumer does not give on a pathway to citizenship “then he’s the one killing immigration reform.” Labrador was responding to comments Schumer made on Tuesday, saying that there will be no bill without a path to citizenship.
“Without a path to citizenship there is not going to be a bill, there can’t be a bill,” Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said after a private meeting Tuesday morning between the House Democratic caucus and the four Senate Democrats.
“Chuck Schumer said yesterday that any bill without a path to citizenship is dead in the Senate. If Chuck Schumer is not going to accept anything then he’s the one who is killing immigration reform,” Labrador said on MSNBC.
The Idaho Republican also blamed President Obama for not acting on immigration reform during his first term and now saying he has to deal with a majority Republican House. He also got into a fiery exchange with Bill Burton, the former deputy White House press secretary for President Obama who was also appearing on “Now With Alex Wagner.”
“It’s your party actually that stood in the way of solving it when President Bush wanted to resolve it,” Labrador told Burton. “Your party hasn’t wanted to do it. Your party has as much blame as my party has.”
Labrador is seen as a key Republican in the House when it comes to championing immigration reform. The conservative Puerto Rican left the House “Group of Eight” saying he could not come to an agreement with a bipartisan group. After leaving the group in June, Labrador said he will introduce his own immigration legislation in the House.
He defended Speaker Boehner’s actions on immigration, saying he was satisfied with his leadership.