Politics
FILE - In this Sept. 4, 2013 file photo, Rep. Raul Labrador, R-Idaho is interviewed by The Associated Press in Boise, Idaho. (AP Photo/John Miller, File)

Labrador: ‘It would be crazy for Republicans to pass immigration reform and go to a conference’

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Caroline May
Political Reporter

With President Obama again pushing immigration reform, Idaho Republican Rep. Raul Labrador says it would be foolish for House Republicans to pass immigration reform and bring it to a conference committee with the Senate-passed immigration bill.

“You know that I believe in immigration reform, and you know that you and I have disagreed on this issue a little bit, but I will tell you I have always been — at least over the last few months — against a conference and now more than ever,” Labrador said Thursday on “The Laura Ingraham Show.” “And the reason is because I have seen in these negotiations that Harry Reid and President Obama will not negotiate in good faith.”

According to Labrador, who dropped out of a bipartisan group working on immigration reform, the shutdown negotiations foreshadowed what immigration reform negotiations will look like.

“What they will do is they will go to the media and they will drive their friends in the media to attack us. So if we do anything on immigration right now and if we send something to conference there’s no way that we come out of a conference victorious,” he said.

“So, in my opinion, we should have never gone to conference, but after the experience I’ve had over the last few weeks, I think there’s no absolutely no way. I think it would be crazy for Republicans to pass immigration reform and go to a conference,” he added.

The Senate passed a far-reaching comprehensive immigration reform bill in June. The House has approached immigration reform in a more piecemeal fashion, moving forward a series of stand-alone bills.

Groups and lawmakers who opposed the Senate immigration bill have been warning against taking any House-passed immigration reform bill to conference with the Senate bill.

Labrador additionally hammered the media for failing to hold Democrats accountable for their rhetoric during the government shutdown.

“I mean this is outrageous, the things that they said about Republicans. And the media not only did not lambast it but they actually fanned the flames — they continued to repeat it and they continued to use that kind of rhetoric when referring to Republicans.”

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