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GOP Rep. Raul Labrador says Boehner should lose speakership over immigration

Rep. Raul Labrador
Rep. Raul Labrador
Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call/Getty Images

Rep. Raul Labrador, R-Idaho, said House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, should lose his leadership position if he pushes immigration this year, the Washington Times reported Wednesday.

“I think it should cost him his speakership,” Labrador told the Capitol Hill news organization.

He also did not rule out running to replace Boehner.

“There is a hunger in the conference for bold, visionary leaders, and this is not just conservatives — you talk to more middle-of-the-road members of the conference, they’re kind of frustrated with the direction of this leadership, and they’re looking for ways to change that,” he told Roll Call.

On Tuesday, Boehner said he was unsure if he would pursue immigration reform this year.

House GOP leaders recently released their principles for immigration reform at a retreat. Those principles include border security, legalization for most illegal immigrants and a specific new pathway for younger immigrants in the country illegally.

Labrador, Roll Call said, respects Boehner, but doesn't think he's right for the job.

“And what I respect about him is that I don’t think he wants to change who he is — that’s actually something to be lauded,” he said.

According to Labrador, GOP leaders need to do three things: articulate a clear vision, develop a plan to implement that vision and follow through.

"They’re not doing any of those three,” he said. “They’re sort of floundering, trying to figure out how we can sell our message to the American people.”

Making matters worse, he said the American public don't trust President Obama to enforce the law.

“It’s the lack of trust that is killing us right now," he said.

He also slammed an idea put forward by National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Greg Walden, R-Ore., who suggested taking on immigration after a majority of GOP primaries are finished.

“That’s such an evil way of doing legislation,” he said. “To actually openly admit that what you’re going to do is pull the wool over people’s eyes."

“I think that’s offensive. And that’s not what I’m for. That’s not why I came here to Washington, D.C. And it saddens me that my own party thinks that it’s OK to do that," he added.

Labrador isn't sure how long he'll stay in Washington, but doesn't think his mission is complete.

“I think you’re going to see some changes here in the House over the next year,” he added. “I think that this is an opportunity for whoever wants to run for leadership to show that they have a clear vision for America.”

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