Republicans 'must act' on immigration reform, McCain says

As the debate brews over whether Republicans will take up the task of pushing through immigration reform, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) on Sunday said he is hopeful Republicans will put something forward.

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"I have not given up hope that we would act and we must act," McCain said on "State of the Union" with Candy Crowley.

"In states like mine, the demographics will only overtake and throughout the whole southwest," McCain said referencing the Hispanic vote he said Republicans need to win a national election.

McCain stood by his past comments that Republicans would not be able to win another election race without reform.

The Arizona Republican last month praised House GOP leaders for issuing a set of immigration reform principles that reflect the Senate bill.

“I think they’re fine,” he said. “I will support everything they’re doing and certainly will not take shots from the sidelines.”

McCain, a co-author of the Senate immigration reform bill, said anyone slamming the House GOP principles right out of the gate isn’t serious about getting legislation passed this year.

“I think most people in their right mind should be glad that we’re seeing movement on the House side,” he said. “If you’re going to start carping at them on the first day when they put out principles, then you’re not serious about immigration reform.”

Momentum for immigration reform in the House, however, stalled when Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said President Obama had not demonstrated to Republican lawmakers “that he can be trusted to enforce the law as it was written.”

He accused Obama of changing his signature healthcare law “on a whim, whenever he likes” and said that his recent focus on executive actions was alienating lawmakers.

Obama last week predicted that Congress would pass an immigration reform bill before the end of his presidency.

“I believe it will get done before my presidency is over,” Obama said in a Univision Radio interview airing Friday. “I’d like to get it done this year.”