Politics

Ryan not the key to immigration reform, Chamber's Donohue says

Chamber of Commerce President Tom Donohue indicated Friday that Rep. Paul Ryan's expected nomination as House speaker was not likely to make a big impact on one key issue roiling Congress: immigration.

Donohue, who favors comprehensive reform, said that opposition in the House was just one part of the reason why Congress has not addressed the issue. A broader shift in attitudes inside the Beltway would be needed before that could happen, he said, but added that the next election just might do that.

"It is going to take a lot more than a Speaker Ryan. It is going to take whoever in the next Congress is the [Senate] majority leader and it is going to take the president of the United States," Donohue told the Washington Examiner during a breakfast Friday hosted by the Christian Science Monitor. "It is going to a comprehensive effort by [those people]. When we see who is in those jobs [after the election], then I can answer your question."

He said that a reform bill was unlikely in the current Congress. He added that "the realities of immigration reform" would eventually force lawmakers to take up legislation. "But it is a long way from here to there because if you want to talk about demagoguery you can do it there probably better than you can do it anywhere else," he said.

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Ryan has called for a comprehensive reform bill in the past, saying immigrant labor would be a boost to the economy, a position that Donohue shares.

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