Photo: Luis Gutiérrez
Two Texas Republicans, John Carter and Sam Johnson, Members of the House “Gang of Seven” negotiating a bipartisan immigration reform deal, announced Friday that they were withdrawing from the group, as expected.
Congressman Luis Gutiérrez (D-IL), also a Member of the group, in an interview with Washington Post Plum Line blogger Greg Sargent posted Friday, predicted the announcement and indicated “The bipartisan group just wasn’t getting support from Republican House leadership…It’s just not gonna happen now.”
Rep. Gutiérrez remains optimistic that a bipartisan way can be found to move legislation forward, and feels it is now more important than ever for supporters of immigration reform to make their voices heard.
“There are rallies planned in 90-plus cities across the country on October 5 and we will see an outpouring from the community demanding a serious effort by Republicans to get immigration reform moving in the House,” said Rep. Gutiérrez, who will be speaking at a rally in Washington on the Mall on October 8.
“It is clear the bipartisan group’s work was not being embraced by Republican Leaders, so this allows us to put the focus squarely on Speaker Boehner and his lieutenants to decide if they are serious about reform and if so, to do something more than talk.”
Congressman Gutiérrez met with Republicans and Democrats on immigration reform in Washington on Thursday, including meetings with Leader Nancy Pelosi, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) and centrist Democrat Henry Cuellar (D-TX).
The Congressman is disappointed with the apparent demise of the bipartisan group in the House, telling the Washington Post “We had agreed on virtually everything.” But he had high praise for his Republican partners and hopes the work they produced as a group eventually can be incorporated into a bipartisan compromise that gets a bill passed in the House.