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On Immigration Reform, Republicans Donít Heed Call of Their Better Angels
AFL-CIO ^ | 6/27/2014 | Richard Trumka

Posted on 06/27/2014 4:27:57 PM PDT by mdittmar

America’s greatest moments have come when we summon our better angels, when our messy democracy produces a shared vision for the next chapter in the American story.

Immigration reform presents such a moment. Fixing our broken system and creating a road map to citizenship for 11 million people is more than the right legislative reform; it would be a historic achievement, the kind that defines nations and propels them toward their promise. With one more step, we could fulfill our responsibilities, chart our future and set a stronger moral and economic path for our nation.

But Republican leadership won’t let this happen. Make no mistake: The likely failure of comprehensive immigration reform lies squarely, completely and embarrassingly at the feet of the Republican leaders of the U.S. House of Representatives.

One year ago today, the U.S. Senate did its part in a decisive 68–30 vote. Its comprehensive, bipartisan bill created a clear and achievable path to citizenship, ensuring that our economy and social fabric would not be undermined by a permanent underclass of non-citizens without full rights. The bill strengthened protections for all workers and devised a new type of employment-based visa system tied to real labor market need, not the whims of manipulative employers. In addition to its moral power, these reforms would bring economic benefit, generating billions in new revenue and cutting the budget deficit.

No wonder this legislation was supported by nearly three-quarters of the American electorate. No wonder this legislation was endorsed by virtually every reputable component of civil society. No wonder justice, long pursued, seemed well in our grasp.

But over the past year, the House Republican leadership has embarrassed itself before history, cheapened its constitutional responsibilities and diminished millions of lives. Especially as 2013 rolled into 2014, Republican pretensions to action grew more and more transparent. While the country waited for leadership, it got game-playing. Our messy democracy was on the verge of meaningful accomplishment, Republican leaders chose the mess instead.

It was not always such in Congress. Both parties have long histories of compromise and cooperation as hard-fought, dignified battles near their end. In my lifetime alone, principled Republican leadership was the key difference in historic debates over civil rights and Social Security.

In 1964, Republican Senate Minority Leader Everett Dirksen worked tirelessly with Democrats and President Lyndon B. Johnson’s administration to pass the Civil Rights Act. After the filibuster from Senate Democrats began, Dirksen convened a working group to come up with a Senate bill to achieve enough bipartisan support to break the Southern filibuster. Even when a conservative bloc of senators revolted, he didn’t back down, and eventually the filibuster was defeated by a bipartisan group of 73 senators, paving the way for passage of the landmark legislation.

In 1983, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Bob Dole (R) was determined to find a solution that protected Social Security benefits for future generations. When a logjam developed, Dole, also a member of the National Commission on Social Security Reform, broke it by writing an op-ed that suggested tax increases could play a role in shoring up the trust fund. This was a major concession from a leading Republican. This prompted fellow commission member Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D) to initiate negotiations for a compromise that led to Senate passage of a comprehensive reform bill by an overwhelming vote of 88–9.

These were moments that continue to define our nation today. Such moments are rare; our pluralistic democracy compels that they be rare. But when they present themselves, true leaders of both political parties have seized them, aware that the better angels of a democracy can be fleeting indeed. As chances for immigration reform dwindle, House Republican leaders would do well to grasp their historic responsibility.

If Republicans fail to act, they will cede the stage solely to the president. The Obama administration will have the opportunity to receive all of history’s honors by acting swiftly and decisively to end the deportation crisis spawned by the House’s failure to act on comprehensive immigration reform.


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: aliens
Them union leaders sure do love illegal aliens.

People actually pay dues for this kind of leadership.

1 posted on 06/27/2014 4:27:57 PM PDT by mdittmar
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To: mdittmar

Trumka?

What a commie hooorh.


2 posted on 06/27/2014 4:31:46 PM PDT by x1stcav ("The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there.")
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To: mdittmar

The union using religion to see it’s agenda? Wow!

Do the union leaders think we don’t know what types of individuals they support, and how anti-Christian those people are?

Better angels? What would these union people know about that?


3 posted on 06/27/2014 4:36:05 PM PDT by DoughtyOne
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To: mdittmar

‘better angels’??

The demons he means


4 posted on 06/27/2014 4:36:51 PM PDT by GeronL (Vote for Conservatives not for Republicans)
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To: x1stcav

I saw his name and knew there was some incredible BS coming....


5 posted on 06/27/2014 4:37:06 PM PDT by Farmer Dean (stop worrying about what they want to do to you,start thinking about what you want to do to them)
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To: mdittmar

The immigration system is not broken. The enforcement of immigration law system is what is broken.


6 posted on 06/27/2014 4:37:44 PM PDT by exDemMom (Current visual of the hole the US continues to dig itself into: http://www.usdebtclock.org/)
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To: All

Trumka once again proves his Cloward-Piven and Alinsky roots.

Trumka is no friend of the working men and women who give him million$ out of their pockets, which he uses to destroy their way of life.


7 posted on 06/27/2014 4:40:11 PM PDT by LegendHasIt
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To: mdittmar

Those whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad.


8 posted on 06/27/2014 4:40:38 PM PDT by MUDDOG
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To: GeronL
‘better angels’??

The demons he means

I checked my Funk & Wagnall's and Roget's Thesaurus and I can't find anything that equates "better" with fallen. Because the only thing these liberals have in common with Angels is with the fallen angels.

9 posted on 06/27/2014 4:43:58 PM PDT by Mastador1 (I'll take a bad dog over a good politician any day!)
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To: mdittmar

Give it a rest little Dick. Americans are still gagging over the ObamaCare that you and your Commie pals including Miss Piggy Pelosi “rammed” down our throats. KMA Commie boy.


10 posted on 06/27/2014 4:44:00 PM PDT by FlingWingFlyer (Feed the wacko enrviromentalists to the starving polar bears.)
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To: mdittmar

Poppycock. If we’re obliged to take in Latin America’s economic, political and crime refugees than we are equally empowered and obliged to go to any of those countries and fix their problem for them.


11 posted on 06/27/2014 4:46:59 PM PDT by Usagi_yo
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To: DoughtyOne

If those are better angels, what are the worse ones like? :-)


12 posted on 06/27/2014 4:47:59 PM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (Embrace the Lion of Judah and He will roar for you and teach you to roar too. See my page.)
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To: mdittmar

The system isn’t broken, it’s the refugees and the publicrats that are broken. The immigration system is fine and works well when followed. It doesn’t work when refugees and publicrats do what they feel like rather than follow the law.


13 posted on 06/27/2014 5:09:37 PM PDT by RetiredTexasVet (Surgeon General Warning: Operation of Government Motors vehicles may be hazardous to your health)
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To: mdittmar

The amnesty vision for the “next chapter in the American story” — will be the LAST chapter in the story of the American Republic.


14 posted on 06/27/2014 5:17:48 PM PDT by BenLurkin (This is not a statement of fact. It is either opinion or satire; or both.)
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To: mdittmar
I firmly believe that it's reasonable to assume that Mr Trumka has a net worth of at least $20 million and an income of least $2 million a year.

And I firmly believe that if any undocumented democrat ever tried to get within 2 miles of his home for any reason other than to do his landscaping he'd be on the phone to the Air National Guard demanding an air strike.

"No illegals for me but millions for thee"....the typical attitude of obscenely rich American Marxists.

15 posted on 06/27/2014 5:21:48 PM PDT by Gay State Conservative (Rat Party Policy:Lie,Deny,Refuse To Comply)
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To: mdittmar

Trumka should look at his own gluttony. Can’t this man with all his wealth work hire someone to help him lose weight?


16 posted on 06/27/2014 6:21:40 PM PDT by ObamahatesPACoal
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To: mdittmar
What does the AFL-CIO know of angels?

Devils? Yeah, probably!

vaudine

17 posted on 06/27/2014 7:08:26 PM PDT by vaudine
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To: mdittmar

Unlike REPUBLICAN IDIOTS, the union guys are able to think LONG TERM and understand the benefit (to them) of repopulating the country with Third World types.

Fortunately the unhorsing of Cantor ends that quest for this year and maybe for several more years - even if the Amnesty bunch tries to ignore what happened there...the Republican officeholders still will not get near the issue, and for quite a while.


18 posted on 06/28/2014 4:53:05 AM PDT by BobL
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To: HiTech RedNeck

Exactly...


19 posted on 06/28/2014 9:48:16 AM PDT by DoughtyOne
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