Jeb Bush wants House GOP to vote on Senate immigration bill
Saying that Republicans must cease being an "obstacle" to immigration reform, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush is urgiing the House GOP to schedule a vote on the Senate immigration opus and vote it up or down.
"Republicans have much in common with immigrants -- beliefs in hard work, enterprise, family, education, patriotism and faith," Bush and Goldwater Institute Vice President Clint Bolick wrote in a Wall Street Journal op-ed.
Bush and Bolick argue that passing immigration reform would benefit Republicans on the campaign trail. They note that, in 2012, Republicans received 27 percent of the Hispanic vote, a 40-percent-decrease from a dozen years before that. They describe immigration as a "gateway issue" for Hispanic and Asian voters.
"But for their voice to penetrate the gateway, Republicans need to cease being the obstacle to immigration reform and instead point the way toward the solution."
Bush and Bolick, who recently co-authored a book on immigration reform, argue that the majority of House Republicans will need to vote for an immigration reform bill. A failure to do so would harm economic growth by allowing "flaws" in the current immigration system to remain in place.
House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) recently said he would only bring an immigration bill to the floor of his chamber if a majority of the majority supports it.
"This is a tall order. But it is one to which House Republicans should respond," Bush and Bolick write.
"No Republican would vote for legislation that stifled economic growth, promoted illegal immigration, added to the welfare rolls, and failed to ensure a secure border. Yet they essentially will do just that if they fail to pass comprehensive immigration reform -- and leave in place a system that does all of those things."
The op-ed comes shortly after the Senate approved an immigration reform plan introduced by a group of eight Republican and Democratic lawmakers.
Bush has been one of immigration reform's major champions in the Republican party so this isn't unexpected. But what you are going to see over the next few weeks are most of the 2016 Republican challengers trying to outdo one another in their support for the Senate bill. That's because the GOP money men are watching closely to see which potential presidential candidate they might support. And it probably won't be a candidate who voted against or who doesn't support comprehensive immigration reform.