Talking Points Memo
By Caitlin Macneal
October 27, 2015
Citing immigration as a critical issue facing America, Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL) asked Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) to agree to specific limitations on immigration policy in exchange for his support of Ryan's speaker bid.
"Immigration is far and away the most important problem facing America because it changes the voter pool, thereby controlling the outcome of every single public policy challenge America faces," Brooks said in an interview with TPM.
Last week, Brooks, a staunch opponent of immigration reform, delivered a letter to Ryan stating that undocumented immigration has hurt American workers, and asking Ryan confirm that he will not attempt to pass immigration reform while President Obama is in office or without majority support form House Republicans.
"Struggling American families have lost more than 8 million job opportunities to illegal aliens. All lower and middle income American workers have suffered from suppressed wages caused by the surge in both illegal alien and lawful immigrant labor supply," Brooks wrote.
Ryan agreed to the terms, according to Brooks.
Brooks told TPM on Tuesday that he pushed for a written agreement because written ones are "always more powerful than oral ones." He said he focused on immigration, rather than other issues discussed between Ryan and the House Freedom Caucus, because it's the most important issue Congress has to handle.
Brooks also opposes the bipartisan deal reached by Congressional leaders on Monday night to raise the debt ceiling and set a two-year budget.
"It is wholly and totally financially irresponsible," Brooks told TPM on Tuesday. "I will definitely vote against such short-sighted legislation that is financially irresponsible and threatens the solvency of America while at the same time burdening our children and our grand-children for decades to come."
Despite his disapproval of the legislation, Brooks said he won't change his mind about the speakers race if Ryan ultimately backs the bill.
"This is John Boehner’s parting shot, and unless I find out information to the contrary, I don’t hold any of the speaker candidates responsible for a bad deal they had nothing to do with," Brooks said.
The congressman said that he doesn't believe the budget deal will change the outcome of the speakers race.
"Paul Ryan already has the votes. In an ideal world, legislation as bad as this would cause a sufficient number of congressman to pause and reconsider supporting anyone who supports this legislation," Brooks said. "Unfortunately, the Congress and the White House jointly have a long history of ignoring economic realities in order to be financially irresponsible regardless of the long term damage that is done to our country. That history being plain before us, I don’t see this Congress suddenly changing its view on the speakers race because of this debacle of a bill."
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