Brendan Buck, the press secretary for Republican House Speaker John Boehner, sent an awesome, brutally honest email updating reporters on the status of immigration reform legislation that showed he has mastered the art of D.C. media relations.
“Because many of you are asking, here is a comment from me on the status of immigration, which as you will see is the same as it has been,” Buck began. “Everyone can tell their editors to chill. The House’s focus remains on jobs and the economy.”
Buck’s email came after a Wall Street Journal report Thursday, which said Boehner told attendees at a fundraiser last month he is “hellbent” on making an immigration reform deal.
After encouraging the press to “chill,” Buck included a comment reiterating his position there is no new news on the immigration reform front. He also put the blame on President Barack Obama for any legislation not moving forward.
“Nothing has changed. As he’s said many times, the Speaker believes step-by-step reform is important, but it won’t happen until the president builds trust and demonstrates a commitment to the rule of law,” Buck said.
Buck also referred reporters to comments Boehner made earlier this month where he argued Obama’s abuse of his executive power on Obamacare made House Republicans wary of working with him on a deal.
“Every time the President ignores the law, like the 38 times he has on Obamacare, our members look up and go, ‘Wait a minute: You can’t have immigration reform without strong border security and internal enforcement. How can we trust the President to actually obey the law and enforce the law that we would write?'” Boehner said.
On Wednesday, Republican Rep. Eric Cantor issued a statement detailing a phone call he had with Obama about immigration reform. Cantor expressed dismay Obama called him after releasing what Cantor described as “a partisan statement which attacked me and my fellow House Republicans” for failing to move forward on the issue one year after a bipartisan immigration reform bill was introduced in the Senate.
“After five years, President Obama still has not learned how to effectively work with Congress to get things done. You do not attack the very people you hope to engage in a serious dialogue,” Cantor said.
Obama gave his own version of the phone call with Cantor at a White House press conference Thursday.
“I actually had a very pleasant conversation with Mr. Cantor yesterday,” he said. “I did. You’re always kind of surprised by the mismatch between press releases and the conversation. I wished him happy Passover.”
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