Sen. Charles Schumer’s (D-N.Y.) immigration plan he floated over the weekend is an admission that President Obama has become a roadblock for reform, House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said.
Schumer’s idea to pass immigration reform this year and hold off on implementation until after Obama leaves office, McCarthy said Monday, sounds a lot like a line the GOP has criticized House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) for using during the healthcare debate.
“I heard him say that. I had to smile,” McCarthy said on Fox News. “It's kind of like the old saying Pelosi, ‘Pass it and we'll find out what's in it later.’”
“But he is almost admitting pass it because the president does become a problem. Pass it and have it go into effect after the president. Isn't part of his discussion he is acknowledging that is real problem here?”
McCarthy also took the opportunity to knock Schumer, the No. 3 Democrat in the Senate and the Democrats’ communication guru.
“Every time Schumer says something I always have to think twice,” he said.
Schumer broached the idea Sunday as a way to assuage GOP fears that Obama will not follow through on implementing border security provisions if immigration reform is passed. Schumer, however, maintained those fears are misplaced.
While House GOP leadership outlined a set of principles for immigration reform earlier this month, they have warned that a lack of trust with the president is the biggest obstacle. They cite unilateral action by the White House on a number of issues, including the delaying parts of ObamaCare.
“This has been a problem for quite some time we talked to president about,” he said. “Many times, he'll have pieces of legislation, and he'll come out on a Friday and decide, I'm not going to enforce a certain part of that.”
He said there is even a growing distrust on the Democratic side. He asserted Democrats have joked with him about which part of laws the administration will choose to enforce.
“I have members who come to me about it, even jokingly say ‘if we pass a piece of legislation, I wonder which part the president will enforce of this one?’” he said.
—Updated 2:30 p.m.