11:05 AM EST

Raúl Rafael Labrador, R-ID 1st

Mr. LABRADOR. Mr. Speaker, this motion to recommit is just one more illustration of Democrats being unserious on immigration reform. We don't even need to talk about the merits or whether the MTR is good policy or bad policy. For my friends on the other side, it has always been just good politics.

Before I came to Congress, I was an immigration attorney for 15 years. That was one of the finest 15 years of my life. I have seen how broken the system is, and I have seen how few people there are on the other side who actually want to fix the problems instead of just playing political football. And sadly, the captain of the political football team is sitting in the White House. Actually, today he is sitting somewhere else doing more politicking.

Actions speak louder than words. I actually agree with the minority on this. The President of the United States made a promise to fix a broken immigration system during his first term, a promise which he could have kept, by the way, without making a single compromise. He had a majority of both Houses of Congress, a filibuster-proof majority for 2 years, and he did absolutely nothing. The other side could have had 100 percent of what they wanted when they controlled the House; the Senate was filibuster-proof,

and they had the President.

When they wanted health care legislation and they wanted good policy, they passed it without any help from the Republican Party. But somehow, they come here today, and they claim that they could not pass immigration legislation during those first 2 years and that they actually want to do something about immigration reform.

Why didn't they solve it then? Because the political football would have gone away. The game would have been over, and they would not have been able to play this political football game every 2 years.

I want reform. I want no more games.

So now we sit here in a familiar position. Our side proposing solutions, their side asking for concessions. And each time we grant one concession, three more arise.

This year, just this year in this Chamber, the President of the United States said he wanted a STEM bill. He said that it didn't have to be comprehensive. This was his exact quote:

But if election-year politics keeps Congress from acting on a comprehensive plan, let's at least agree to stop expelling responsible young people who want to staff our [Page: H6560]

labs, start new businesses, defend this country. Send me a law that gives them the chance to earn their citizenship. I will sign it right away.

My friends, this is that bill. It is exactly what the President asked for. And what has he done now? He's pulled the football away again. He now says that, in fact, it does need to be comprehensive:

The administration is deeply committed to building a 21st century immigration system that meets the Nation's economic and security needs, but it has to be comprehensive.

So he went from saying that he didn't need a comprehensive bill to saying that he needs a comprehensive bill. He says now that he, in fact, needs comprehensive reform when he said a year ago that he didn't.

How do I feel? I feel like Charlie Brown. My friends, this is a good bill. The President continues to move the ball. The Democrats continue to move the ball. Every time Republicans want to do something positive on immigration, on the economy, they keep moving the ball away from us. Let's stop being Charlie Brown.

My friends, this is a good bill. It will strengthen our economy, it will create jobs, and it is exactly what the President asked for a year ago. Let's call his bluff and send him a bill to create jobs and opportunities here in America.

I yield back the balance of my time.