POLITICS: PennAve

Nancy Pelosi: House Republicans avoiding immigration reform because of race

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House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi accused House Republicans of refusing to move forward on immigration reform legislation because of racial issues.

"I think race has something to do with the fact that they're not bringing up an immigration bill," the California Democrat said Thursday during her weekly briefing with reporters.

Pelosi suggested Republican lawmakers would be more willing to push forward with immigration reform if most immigrants living in the United States weren't Hispanic.

"I've heard them say to the Irish, 'If it were just you, this would be easy,' " she said.

The Democratic-controlled Senate passed a comprehensive immigration bill last year with significant bipartisan support. But the measure, which offers a path to citizenship for millions of immigrants who have entered the country illegally, has stalled in the Republican-led House.

House Republican leaders say they're not against tackling immigration reform but suggest they prefer to do so in a piecemeal fashion. One of those major components would deal with increasing border security.

Pelosi's comments came a day after Attorney General Eric Holder suggested that House Republicans repeated have attacked him and President Obama because they are black.

The minority leader, when asked to respond to Holder's comments, said that "generally speaking,a" Republicans have been "very disrespectful" of Obama administration officials.

"I really don't want to go to that place. I would just say that their disdain for anybody who disagreed with them is pretty across-the-board," she said.

Pelosi also said GOP disdain for women is "so self evident."

"They're on the wrong side — not only of history but on the wrong side of the future," she said.

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