GOP Blasts Reid’s Immigration ‘Ploy’
House Republicans dismissed Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s plan to pass an immigration measure by tacking it onto the defense authorization bill as an election year ploy aimed at winning Hispanic votes in Nevada.
Reid, who’s locked in a tight race against Republican Sharron Angle, announced earlier this week that he’ll offer up the DREAM Act – which would legalize certain young undocumented immigrants who attend college for two years or join the military – as an amendment to the Defense Department authorization bill.
But the move has prompted outcry from Republicans.
“It’s despicable, quite honestly,” said Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-Ga.) told POLITICO’s Arena. “Sen. Reid – who we all know is in a very tough reelection battle – that he would use this and use the men and women in the military, who are at the tip of the spear, who have given their lives in the defense of our country, to really use them to try to force this passage of the DREAM Act so he can pander to a large Hispanic voting bloc in his state of Nevada is just deplorable, quite honestly.”
“It’s an awful way to try to pass legislation,” added Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) in Arena. “There’s an emotional debate regarding immigration and we ought to have that discussion in Congress. But in this late hour, just before an election, to try to piggyback it to the defense bill is just offensive to a lot of people. It highlights the problem of how our Congress works.”
Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), who is the ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee, called it a “cynical pre-election ploy.”