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House Majority Leader Eric Cantor speaks at Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management in Evanston, Illinois, October 28, 2011. REUTERS/John Gress (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS)
'Also, there's a spider in my office. Huge thing, this big. We can't go in there anymore.'
Having decided to do nothing on immigration reform this year, House Republicans are now in the position of having to explain that position in a manner that might sound plausible to people. Or at least plausible to their base, which you have to admit is a much easier proposition—those people will buy anything.

And so we get things like Majority Leader Eric Cantor explaining that the big problem is, um, Obamacare. Via HuffPo:

"The news of this week, unfortunately, has been many, many Americans very unhappy with the work product coming out of this town as far as health care is concerned," Cantor said. "I would posit to the gentleman that a bill like Obamacare or a bill like the Senate immigration bill produces the kinds of impact and effect that we're seeing this week and last week and the prior. We don't want to commit that same mistake."
Wait, did we say Obamacare? We meant because Obama, period. He's outta control, we tells ya:
Republicans are skeptical of Obama's commitment to enforcing immigration law and protecting the border -- despite record deportation numbers and high border patrol spending -- and argue they can't be sure he'd actually follow the law.
Rep. Tom Cole may be on to something with his theory that immigration reform can't happen primarily because his caucus is made up of incompetent bumblefucks:
[Cole] said it was unrealistic to expect the House to be able to tackle what he called the "divisive and difficult issue" of immigration when it can barely handle the most basic task of keeping the government's lights on.

"We're not sure we can chew gum, let alone walk and chew gum, so let’s just chew gum for a while," Cole said.

Ooh, that's a good one. I'm gonna go with that one. I would also accept "frothing Republican base would not put up with doing humane things on behalf of any immigrants, ever"; see the collective oeuvre of Rep. Steve King for that one.

Sign our petition urging your House member to sign a "discharge petition" to bring comprehensive immigration reform to a floor vote.

Originally posted to Hunter on Tue Nov 19, 2013 at 11:25 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  What is Eric Cantor's... (8+ / 0-)

    ...native language? It can't be English:

    many, many Americans very unhappy with the work product coming out of this town as far as health care is concerned
    Anyone know what language has that sort of vocabulary and syntax? I wonder, perhaps it isn't a human language at all. Could he actually be an alien? Not from Kenya mind you, but from somewhere MUCH MUCH farther away as far as distance is concerned.

    If your internal map of reality doesn't match external conditions, bad things happen.--Cambias

    by pimutant on Tue Nov 19, 2013 at 11:47:21 AM PST

  •  Hunter, Do YOU Support S744? (0+ / 0-)

    And, if so, have you actually read S744?

    I won't be coming home tonight, my generation will put it right - Genesis 9:3

    by superscalar on Tue Nov 19, 2013 at 11:53:31 AM PST

    •  By The Way, If The Answer (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      To both of these questions is yes, you might want to revisit sections like the one titled "DOCUMENT VERIFICATION REQUIREMENTS" 'cause what they are describing as something 'new' is actually almost identical to the current I9 requirement.

      In other words, Congress will create a lot of new laws, many of which already exist, and somehow convince themselves that because they have created new law, that in itself will create the catalyst to enforce law that already exists.

      Quick Guide to Kennedy- McCain Immigration Bill (May 2005)

      To be honest, I'm not sure how you know what it does and does not do since it's not up on Thomas yet

      With all respect, I do not need to know the exact language regarding changes in enforcement. The problem is not that the language does not exist to enforce the law, the problem is that current law is not enforced. What makes you think that changes to the language of the law will compel anyone to enforce law which already exists?

      The Department of Labor will have new authority to conduct random audits of employers and ensure compliance with labor laws; also includes new worker protections and enhanced fines for illegal employment practices

      • Investigations targeting employers of illegal immigrants fell more than 70 percent, from 7,637 in 1997 to 2,194 in 2003.
      • Arrests on job sites fell from 17,554 in 1997 to 445 in 2003.
      • Fines levied for immigration-law violations fell from 778 in 1997 to 124 in 2003.
      • DHS collected only $2.6 million of $5.3 million in fines it levied on employers of illegal aliens in 2002. The agency was unable to collect a dime from nearly a quarter of those employers.

      Now, all of this has occurred within the confines of the current 1986 IRCA law.
      All employers are required to verify that each employee hired after 1988 is eligible to work in the United States. There are fines ranging from $250 to $10,000 for each unauthorized alien and a maximum 6-month prison sentence if violator demonstrates a persistent pattern of hiring unauthorized aliens.

      Please tell me of one person from Tyson Foods who has been sent to jail for six months. Please tell me of one fine that ConAgra has had to pay for employing illegal aliens.

      Again, when you state that This is just a brief on the new legislation; it does not include every detail on fines and enforcement.  To be honest, I'm not sure how you know what it does and does not do since it's not up on Thomas yet, I am telling you that I don't need to know. Changing the language of an enforcement provision does not mean anything if the law is not enforced.

      Also, I asked Please name one thing in this bill which promotes American workers rights, or will increase American workers wages. You answer with If immigrants have a way to come here and work legally, and enjoy the benefits of being in America openly, there's less incentive for them to take "under the table" jobs. Your answer directs itself to how, seemingly, illegal aliens will benefit from this legislation. Your answer does not, however, respond to my question as to just how American workers will benefit

      I won't be coming home tonight, my generation will put it right - Genesis 9:3

      by superscalar on Tue Nov 19, 2013 at 12:08:14 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  walking & chewing gum might not get you across (6+ / 0-)

    the border from Calgary or the Bering Straits

    Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "I’m not the strapping young Muslim socialist that I used to be" - Barack Obama 04/27/2013

    by annieli on Tue Nov 19, 2013 at 11:55:16 AM PST

  •  Interesting passage (11+ / 0-)
    Republicans are skeptical of Obama's commitment to enforcing immigration law and protecting the border -- despite record deportation numbers and high border patrol spending -- and argue they can't be sure he'd actually follow the law.
    I got Google Translate to translate this from wingnut to English.  In English:
    Republicans are skeptical that President Obama is not committed to keeping nonwhite people out of this country, because he is nonwhite himself.  Also, President Obama is black, so therefore he's a criminal.

    29, white male, TX-07 (current), TN-09 (born), TN-08 (where parents live now)

    by TDDVandy on Tue Nov 19, 2013 at 12:05:08 PM PST

  •  Plaster this on every Democratic ad in 2014 (9+ / 0-)
    Rep. Tom Cole (Republican of Oklahoma) explains why the Republican-run House of Representatives can't function:
    "We're not sure we can chew gum, let alone walk and chew gum."
    Let's get Congress working again. Elect __
  •  In a word: racism (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blue aardvark, JeffW

    That's why the House GOP doesn't want to do it.   They have a number of Steve Kings in their caucus who believe that undocumented immigrants all have big ole calves and they think drug smugglers are immigrants.

    You can also see they have Tea Party people like that Young Conservatives group down there in Austin, Texas(yeah a very small part of that great liberal college town) that have a very narrow and racist view of the immigration issue.  

    I agree with President Obama, our country's journey is not yet complete. We must continue the work that our forebearers at Seneca Falls started, and put the Equal Rights Amendment into our Constitution.

    by pistolSO on Tue Nov 19, 2013 at 03:26:26 PM PST

  •  Rich Republicans, poor Republicans (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blue aardvark, JeffW

    Newly legalized immigrants can turn in rich Republicans to the Department of Labor, OSHA, Workforce Services etc for wage theft, unsafe working conditions, etc.

    Newly legalized immigrants will compete for work with poor Republicans.  

    "states like VT and ID are not 'real america'" -icemilkcoffee

    by Utahrd on Tue Nov 19, 2013 at 03:34:54 PM PST

  •  The gum in question needs to have a (0+ / 0-)

    healthy dosage of Thorazine built into it; then they may be able to start doing their job.

    I'm on a mission! Testing the new site rules.

    by blue aardvark on Wed Nov 20, 2013 at 09:30:52 AM PST

  •  Hmm. (3+ / 0-)
    "We're not sure we can chew gum, let alone walk and chew gum, so let’s just chew gum for a while," Cole said.
    But, but, but, he's not even sure that they can chew gum!  Maybe they should just start with something easy like a throat lozenge.

    I'm not always political, but when I am I vote Democratic. Stay Democratic, my friends. -The Most Interesting Man in the World

    by boran2 on Wed Nov 20, 2013 at 09:31:25 AM PST

  •  What a CROCK! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    For whatever reason, Cantor decided not to play their main trump card at this point in time.

    The obvious and ultimate reason immigration reform is not possible is:

    because Bengahzi.

    •  Now, now, no reading ahead (0+ / 0-)

      Benghazi is the excuse for next month. You know, for Christmas. Besides, the House has had barely three or four years to work on immigration reform. You can't expect them to pivot on a dime and just take up an issue just like that.

      'Scuse me, it's time for another vote to "repeal Obamacare."

  •  Its what the base wants, no explanation required (0+ / 0-)

    We sometimes forget that the Republican Party usually just reflects the views of its base.  The base would rather lose elections than change their beliefs.  Any immigration reform bill that gets through the current House will be window dressing only and won't win them any votes anywhere. No  matter what they do on Immigration, Republicans end up losing. The best they can hope for is to take it on the chin now with their own base, in the hopes that they can pick up future voters. Anyone really see that happening?

    Patriotism is the last refuge to which a scoundrel clings. Steal a little and they throw you in jail. Steal a lot and they make you king.... Dylan

    by bywaterbob on Wed Nov 20, 2013 at 09:50:49 AM PST

  •  They haven't acted because they're stupid. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW, a2nite

    While Democrats get a bloody nose on ACA rollout,

    Republicans could be putting forward "sensible" immigration reform -- a package that stomps hard on the employers of new illegals while recognizing the invitation offered in years gone by by grandfathering those who have been in the country and working.  Clamping down on employers reduces the attraction and makes border enforcement easier.  Accepting reality over those who have already made lives here is not just compassionate, it's smart both politically and economically.

    As it is,  braindead is as braindead does, and GOP will do everything it can to rescue Democrats in 2014 and beyond.

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Wed Nov 20, 2013 at 09:55:36 AM PST

  •  I would posit to Rep. Cantor.... (4+ / 0-)

    ...that Obamacare is a law, not a "bill".

    •  By Cantor's logic, many new programs have problems (0+ / 0-)

      in the beginning, so to keep those problems from happening, we should never pass a law again.

      And it feels like I'm livin'in the wasteland of the free ~ Iris DeMent, 1996

      by MrJersey on Wed Nov 20, 2013 at 10:10:33 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  C'mon, Eric, say what you mean! (0+ / 0-)

    Re Immigration Reform Bill:  "My dog ate it!"

    With the Decision Points Theater, the George W. Bush Presidential Library becomes the very first Presidential Library to feature a Fiction Section.

    by Its the Supreme Court Stupid on Wed Nov 20, 2013 at 10:05:22 AM PST

  •  We can't reform immigration because (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Murphoney, pistolSO


    The problem with political jokes is they get elected.

    by shoeless on Wed Nov 20, 2013 at 10:11:29 AM PST

  •  Put down the gum, Tom Cole. Step away from the gum (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shoeless, Ishmaelbychoice

    and walk the damned walk for awhile, instead.

    Righteousness is a wide path. Self-righteousness is a bullhorn and a blindfold.

    by Murphoney on Wed Nov 20, 2013 at 10:17:11 AM PST

  •  Stuck between a Rock and a Hard Spot (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shoeless, pistolSO

    If they vote on Immigration, the Teabaggers and Wingnuts
    heads will Explode.

    If they Don't vote on Immigration, Telemundo and Univision
    will remind everyone of that FAILURE on a daily basis.

    Damned if they do and Damned if they Don't.

    Either way, the Republicans Loose Votes.

    That assumes that the Democratic Party is smart
    enough to make this a real issue in the Mid Term elections.

    On Giving Advice: Smart People Don't Need It and Stupid People Don't Listen

    by Brian76239 on Wed Nov 20, 2013 at 10:17:18 AM PST

  •  Doin' the little sidestep ... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    "Now they see me,
    Now they don't ...

    (An apt reference, I submit, to a song from The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas.)

    2014 IS COMING. Build up the Senate. Win back the House : 17 seats. Plus!

    by TRPChicago on Wed Nov 20, 2013 at 10:24:42 AM PST

  •  The last thing the Teapublicans want (0+ / 0-)

    is to mingle with the dark skinned people.  

    However if they want to build a house and get paid under the table then that is OK.  

    We will send the illegals back when the house if finished.

    Sarcasm on...It is so nice I live in a post racial America...Sarcasm off.

    by wbishop3 on Wed Nov 20, 2013 at 10:38:53 AM PST

  •  I can't support the bill (0+ / 0-)

    Until they fix the H1B visa so it isn't so abused I can't support this bill.  They are giving jobs to people who undercut the American work force and I can't support that. If you want to give a job to an area that is underserved, fine, that's what this visa is for.  But the wording has to be fixed in two ways: 1) it can't be available at all in areas where the population denisty is greater than say 50 people per square mile and 2) it can't pay less than Americans doing the same job.  

    If they fixed it they could employ a lot of US citizens IN the US.  
    What a concept.

    Don't believe me Look it up - H1B is for doctors and engineers to go to UNDERSERVED areas in the US. Jersey City is not freakin underserved.

    UGH, TEXAS. Please secede!

    by u028021 on Wed Nov 20, 2013 at 11:06:01 AM PST

    •  No, It's Not (0+ / 0-)

      Don't believe me Look it up - H1B is for doctors and engineers to go to UNDERSERVED

      Overview and Types of Visas

      H-1B: Person in Specialty Occupation

      To work in a specialty occupation. Requires a higher education degree or its equivalent. Includes fashion models of distinguished merit and ability and government-to-government research and development, or co-production projects administered by the Department of Defense.

      You don't have to neccesarily be a doctor or an engineer or, for that matter, a 'fashion model of distinguished merit'. I've seen H-1B visas granted for managers at a Red Lobster restaurant.

      One of the problems is, while the law says the individual must have 'specialized knowledge', the law doesn't define what 'specialized knowledge' means. Beyond this, generally speaking, there is no difference between and H-1B visa and any of the other nine non-immigrant guest worker visa programs.

      I won't be coming home tonight, my generation will put it right - Genesis 9:3

      by superscalar on Wed Nov 20, 2013 at 04:03:38 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  The evil RW Rs are sticking with doing nothing nt (0+ / 0-)

    nosotros no somos estúpidos

    by a2nite on Wed Nov 20, 2013 at 11:18:50 AM PST

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