Congressman Jim Himes (CT-4) today spoke on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives urging Speaker Boehner to allow an up or down vote by the full House on comprehensive immigration reform. The Senate passed immigration reform in a broad, bipartisan vote in April, and Himes is cosponsor of similar legislation in the House. Click here to view the floor statement. A transcript follows this release.
"What if I told you that there was a jobs bill just sitting there ready to be passed, that would add almost $1 trillion to our economy in a 10-year period? What if I told you that this jobs bill would create 121,000 new jobs every single year for 10 years?" said Himes in his speech. "Of course I'm describing the comprehensive immigration bill which the Speaker of this House refuses to bring up. There is no principled, no logical objection to this thing-- there's just scare tactics."
Earlier today, a Washington Post editorial also made the case for Speaker Boehner to bring immigration reform up for a vote:
"But there are 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States. The country needs to deal with them in some way. When it does so, it needs to set up a sensible system for future immigration so we don't wind up in the same fix 10 or 20 years from now. That requires legislation of some complexity, it's true, but members of Congress are elected to solve complex problems.
"President Obama said Tuesday that he is open to dealing with immigration in a piecemeal fashion. But the House can't dictate that only border security and deportation are on the table. Mr. Boehner should let House Republicans vote on the parts of immigration reform they consider priorities and take that "sensible step-by-step" approach into negotiations with the Senate. It is unserious, and unconstructive, to tell the Senate what it can and cannot bring to the table in negotiations with the House."