Tom Donohue, the president of the US Chamber of Commerce, promised to continue pushing for immigration reform yesterday, joking that if the Republican party insists on ignoring the issue then it might as well stay home and not bother putting up a candidate for the next presidential election in 2016.
“If the Republicans don’t do it, they shouldn’t bother to run a candidate in 2016,” Donohue noted at an event to discuss the infrastructure of the United States. “I mean, think about that. Think about who the voters are.” Conservatives in favor of immigration reform have been saying the same thing since the 2012 election, fearing that their chances with Latino voters are doomed if they do not change their stance on the issue.
A comprehensive reform bill was quickly passed last year in the Senate. The Chamber of Commerce was able to come to an agreement with the AFL-CIO labor federation, which was crucial in getting this to happen, yet immigration reform has stalled completely in the House of Representatives. Donohue insists that a bill could still be passed by the House in 2014 and he intends for the Chamber of Commerce to keep up the pressure.
“I do believe that we’re absolutely crazy if we don’t take advantage of having passed an immigration bill out of the Senate,” Donohue says. “Because going back and doing it again might be harder. Do something rational in the House and put it together … we’ve got a lot of heat on that and we’re going to put a lot more.”