LaHood: GOP faces ‘death knell’ without immigration deal

President Obama’s outgoing Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, a former GOP House member, says Republicans won’t win another White House race without a deal on major immigration legislation.

LaHood spoke to The Washington Post as he prepares to hand over the Cabinet job to Anthony FoxxAnthony FoxxTransportation Dept. launches aviation test lab with NASA Overnight Regulation: Drones ready to take flight under new rules White House paves the way for commercial drone use MORE, the Charlotte, N.C. mayor that the Senate last week confirmed to replace him.

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“We will not win another presidential election as Republicans,” LaHood told the Post, “unless we do something to fix the broken immigration system.”

LaHood urged the House GOP to take a page from the book of Sen. Marco RubioMarco RubioRubio: 'I didn't run for the Senate to run for president again' Sunday shows preview: Next steps after Trump upheaval O'Malley gives Trump a nickname: 'Chicken Donald' MORE (R-Fla.), who helped craft the bipartisan plan the Senate approved last Thursday. If they don’t, LaHood warned, “this is going to be the death knell for Republicans winning national elections for decades.”

Some analysts see an immigration deal as crucial for Republicans’ national political viability going forward. Hispanic voters overwhelmingly favored President Obama in his race against GOP White House hopeful Mitt Romney last year.

Speaker John BoehnerJohn BoehnerCameras go dark during House Democrats' sit-in Rubio flies with Obama on Air Force One to Orlando Juan Williams: The capitulation of Paul Ryan MORE (R-Ohio) has said he will not shepherd an immigration bill through the House that does not have a majority of the chamber’s Republicans behind it, a threshold that complicates prospects for a House-Senate deal.

LaHood suggested that BoehnerJohn BoehnerCameras go dark during House Democrats' sit-in Rubio flies with Obama on Air Force One to Orlando Juan Williams: The capitulation of Paul Ryan MORE may need to buck his conference for the good of the party nationally.

“Look, this takes real courage,” he told the Post. “This takes the possibility of falling on [Boehner’s] sword for a greater good — for a greater good for the party, not for himself.”

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