Posts tagged: Raul Labrador
Former president George W. Bush, who enjoyed healthy support among Latinos during his time in office, has broken a virtual five-year silence in national politics to weigh in on immigration reform. The question is: Is anyone listening? Judging from the immigration debate roiling the House, probably not. Although Bush's public approval ratings are on the rise, he is a fast-fading memory on Capitol Hill, where more than half of the 234 House Republicans arrived on the scene after he departed. Rep. Raul Labrador, R-Idaho, who last month dropped out of bipartisan talks to develop a comprehensive House immigration bill, said Bush's views would have little impact. “Anybody has to take an ex-president's word seriously, but he's just another voice on this issue. He's not going to be the definitive voice,” Labrador said in an interview/David Nakamura & Ed O'Keefe, Washington Post. More here. (AP photo: George W. Bush places his hand over his heart during the national anthem before a U.S. citizen swearing in ceremony in Dallas on Wednesday)
Question: Wouldn't the Republican Party be in much better shape today if it'd followed then President George Bush's lead in reaching out to Hispanics?
From left, Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of Calif., Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nev., House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio and Vice President Joe Biden applaud during a ceremony to dedicate the statue of Frederick Douglass, seen behind them today in the Emancipation Hall of the United States Visitor Center on Capitol Hill in Washington. Boehner will be the focus of a fundraiser in Coeur d'Alene in which 1st District Congress Raul Labrador wasn't invited. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
U.S Speaker of the House John Boehner will visit Coeur d'Alene Friday for a private fundraiser in Congressman Raul Labrador's 1st District. According to organizers, Labrador is not attending the private event, and he's not talking about it either. “Sorry it's taken me awhile to get back to you,” said Labrador's spokesman Todd Winer, responding to repeated inquiries about the event. “We don't have any comment on the story you're working on.” Ron Nilson, CEO of Ground Force Worldwide, is helping to organize the event at the local level. He said Ed Schweitzer, CEO of Schweitzer Engineering in Pullman, is hosting the event/Jeff Selle, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.
Question: Hmm. Let's read between the lines. Why would Congressman Raul Labrador not attend (not be invited to?) fund-raising event in his district that features House Speaker John Boehner? Pay back?
In his weekly Cheers & Jeers column, Congressman Raul Labrador gives jeers to …
… to Congressman Raul Labrador, R-Idaho. Being part of the eight House members from both parties hammering out an immigration reform bill got Labrador a seat next to “Meet the Press” host David Gregory and “This Week's” George Stephanopoulos. Of course, Idaho Education News' Kevin Richert and the Associated Press' John Miller can't get their calls answered. But, hey, his time is limited. Until Wednesday, when Labrador turned his back on the immigration reform negotiations just as his seven colleagues got some traction. Labrador objected to giving newly legalized residents access to public health care. Maybe that's a deal-breaker for Labrador, but not for the remaining Republican members of the panel - Mario Diaz-Balart of Florida, John Carter and Sam Johnson, both of Texas. “We have found a way forward,” Carter told The Hill newspaper/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune. More here.
Question: Was Congressman Labrador looking out for his best interests when he bailed out on other House members trying to hammer out immigration reform?
A bipartisan House immigration group has lost one of its eight members, as conservative Rep. Raul Labrador (R-Idaho) informed colleagues Wednesday that he could not sign on to legislation the group hopes to release in the coming weeks. Labrador told reporters after an hour-long meeting that he was leaving the group because of concerns that the bill would not sufficiently protect taxpayers from footing the healthcare bill of undocumented immigrants.“I’m just going to move on and work with other members of the House Judiciary Committee to try to craft legislation that can actually pass the House,” Labrador said/Russell Berman, The Hill. More here.
Question: Did Labrador make the right move?
The Spokesman-Review Editorial Board calls on Congress to seize another golden opportunity for reforming immigration:
Conditions are also ripe for a bill in the House, because Rep. Raul Labrador, R-Idaho, has the credibility to persuade “Young Turk” conservatives who gained office in 2010 that reform is good for the party and the nation. Labrador is a former immigration lawyer and, as a recent National Journal article noted, his knowledge and Puerto Rican roots enable him to neutralize the immigrant-bashers in his caucus. This is the best opportunity since the 9/11 attacks to solve this complicated issue, so we encourage Congress to seize it. More here.
Question: I think it's swell that an Idaho congressman may be instrumental in solving the ongoing immigration crisis. How about you?
It’s been a busy week for Congressman Raul Labrador’s spokesman. Three times, Michael Tate has alerted reporters that major new outlets have — for the umpteenth time — hailed his boss as a key player on immigration reform. On Friday, Tate circulated a cut-and-paste of the latest subscription-only story in National Journal. Headlined “Don’t Call Him Marco Rubio,” reporter Tim Alberta quotes a House GOP aide as saying Labrador is “more important to getting (immigration reform) passed through Congress than Marco Rubio” because of his influence with conservatives. Rubio, of course, is the telegenic Cuban-American senator from Florida and presidential prospect/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here.
Question: Is it good or bad for Idaho's image that the national media are spotlighting Congressman Raul Labrador?
The Atlantic has an interesting profile of Idaho 1stDistrict Rep. Raul Labrador this week, headlined, “Does the Fate of Immigration Reform Depend on This Idaho Congressman? Puerto Rican-born, Tea Party-purist, GOP-leadership-defying immigration attorney Raul Labrador has confounded expectations throughout his political career.” In the piece, Labrador talks about immigration reform, saying, “Most hardcore conservatives in the House come from rural agricultural districts, so we understand the need for reform”/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here. (AP file photo of Raul Labrador)
Question: Izzit just me, or has Congressman Raul Labrador become a major player on the Washington scene — and among the national GOP?
Idaho Congressman Raul Labrador’s spokesman asked that a photo including Labrador alongside Idaho House Assistant Majority Leader Brent Crane, R-Nampa, be replaced on the Statesman’s website. The photo accompanied my column Friday exploring Crane’s erroneous claim that civil rights icon Rosa Parks was standing up to the federal government in 1955 when she refused to obey a Montgomery, Ala., city ordinance that she give up her seat on a bus to a white man. Crane invoked the memory of Parks during his debate last week in opposition to Gov. Butch Otter’s bill to establish a state-run health insurance exchange under the U.S. Affordable Care Act, saying, “One little lady got tired of the federal government telling her what to do”/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here.
RE: Divided House passes deal to end latest fiscal standoff/New York Times
Congressman Raul Labrador's reaction to “fiscal cliff” deal: Idaho First District Congressman Raúl R. Labrador issued the following statement after voting against the Biden-McConnell bill to resolve the “fiscal cliff” issue: “Like I have been saying for months, bills that pass during lame duck sessions are not good for the country. This was a difficult vote, but as far as I am concerned the Biden-McConnell deal is worse than no deal at all. It temporarily ends the debate but does nothing to solve the problems that our country faces—in fact, it is a perfect example of why our country is $16 trillion in debt. The deal does nothing to address out of control spending and delays the only meaningful cuts Congress has been able to pass in the last two years. The president campaigned on a promise of a balanced approach—$2.50 in spending cuts for every dollar of tax increases.” More below. (AP photo: President Obama, with VP Joe Biden, makes statement re: budget deal Tuesday)
Question: Do you support the deal struck to avoid the “fiscal cliff”?
First District GOP Rep. Raul Labrador was the first member of Congress to call for Attorney General Eric Holder's resignation in 2011 and says there's a new reason for him to go — his handling of the Petraeus inquiry. “Holder should have resigned a long time ago,” Labrador said in a Wednesday Capitol Hill news conference. “Once again, it shows the incompetence or the complete neglect and dereliction of duty in Eric Holder's administration.” I blogged yesterday about Labrador's call on his party to press for immigration reform and reach out to Hispanic voters. I left out his comments on Holder and his view of President Obama's handling of immigration/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here.
Question: Do you want President Obama to dump Attorney General Eric Holder?
Idaho GOP Rep. Raul Labrador wants to raise the Social Security retirement age to 70, cut a third of the staff at the Pentagon and ban all abortions other than those to save the life of the mother. The freshman congressman took all three stands during a debate broadcast live Thursday night on Idaho Public Television. His Democratic challenger, Jimmy Farris, differed sharply on the retirement age and abortion, but found common ground with Labrador on trimming military spending. “I think there are a number of places that we would agree and admit that we can find savings,” Farris said. “If Pentagon staff is one of them, I’d certainly like to look at it.” The two faced off in the “Idaho Debates,” a three-decade-plus tradition in Idaho political races/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here.
Question: Would you support raising the retirement age to 70?
Idaho GOP Rep. Raul Labrador, right, shakes hands with Democratic challenger Jimmy Farris, left, after the two debated on live TV on Thursday night. The Idaho Statesman reports that voters were treated to a spirited debate last night here. (Idaho Public Television photo: Kevin Rank)
Question (from Emily Ritter Saunders/StateImpact): Idaho, why are you not interested in our congressional races? Politicked out? Do I have the wrong impression?
On his way to changing the country, Jimmy Farris was late hitting the road. He didn’t load his car until after 8 p.m., and the trip from Georgia to Idaho would measure more than 2,300 miles. His 3-year-old cat, Caesar, was a nervous wreck — and he was the calmest one in the car. That first night, back in 2011, Farris had hoped to get as far as Nashville. But after only 10 miles, his head was spinning and tears were flowing, and he pulled over. A couple of years had passed since he had played his final game in the National Football League, and this next step was daunting. All he could think was, “What am I doing with my life?” Since he could run, Farris had been a football player. He played wide receiver at a small college and spent six seasons in the NFL, including two with the Washington Redskins/Rick Maese, Washington Post. More here. (AP file photo: As a Washington Redskin in 2005, Jimmy Farris celebrates a touchdown with a teammate)
Question: Is Jimmy Farris the new face of the Idaho Democratic Party?
Fiscal health is the most urgent issue facing Congress. Not the only issue. But it’s close. And on this defining issue, incumbent Republican Reps. Raul Labrador and Mike Simpson are the clear choices. They are far stronger on deficit and debt issues than their Democratic opponents. Labrador rode the conservative crest in 2010, one of a whopping 87 GOP freshmen to win a House seat in the midterm elections. Amidst this crowd, the 1st District lawmaker has managed to do something unusual — if not unheard of — for a first-term Idaho House member. He has begun building a national profile. Labrador has become a repeat guest on the Sunday morning talk show circuit. He has been among a group of Latino Republicans campaigning in swing states for GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney. With a background in immigration law, Labrador would be well-positioned to assume a key role on a sensitive issue that is critical to Idaho/Idaho Statesman Editorial Board. More here.
Question: Agree/disagree with Idaho Statesman endorsements in Idaho congressional races?
As Idaho GOP Rep. Raul Labrador seeks re-election for a second term in Congress, he’s made a name for himself in Washington, D.C., as a tea party favorite and hard-line conservative. He’s frequently appeared on national TV and has been prominent in helping GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney court Hispanic votes around the country. Yet his legislative record for his two-year term is light - he's introduced and passed fewer bills than his three first-term predecessors in the 1st Congressional District seat. Labrador has sponsored seven bills and one amendment; one bill and one amendment passed the House. By comparison, his predecessor, Democratic Rep. Walt Minnick, sponsored 27 bills or amendments in his two years in Congress and 10 passed/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here.
Question: Is it right to judge a congressman's effectiveness by the amount of legislation and amendments s/he sponsors?
Democrat Jimmy Farris, a 1st Congressional District congressman candidate expressed concern in a news release re: Congressman Raul Labrador’s opinion that Congress should take the rest of the year off. In an interview with The Hill earlier this month, Labrador said that he did not think Congress should reconvene for the lame-duck session, saying, “I think the decisions we make in the lame-duck session are not wise decisions for America.” Due to the dire consequences of not convening for the lame-duck session, Labrador and the few who agree with him are in the minority, even amongst other conservatives. “Congressman Labrador doesn’t seem to care that there would be major consequences for not showing up for the lame-duck session,” said Farris. “If Congress doesn’t deal with the fiscal crisis before the end of the year, we will be pushed off the fiscal cliff. Sequestration will go into effect, resulting in cuts to military spending. The nation would be plunged back into a recession. But apparently Congressman Labrador doesn’t think it’s important to show up and prevent these things from happening.”
Question: Any thoughts re: lame-duck sessions?
Democratic congressional hopeful Jimmy Farris has all but put Congressman Raul Labrador's face on a milk carton with the frantic headline: “Have you seen his man?” After all, the freshman Republican hasn't just blown off his under-funded opponent or even the independent Project Vote Smart; he's also AWOL much of the time from his day job. According to GovTrack, which follows Congress, the freshman Idaho Republican has missed 72 of 1,531 recorded votes — 4.7 percent. During the first quarter of this year, Labrador missed more than one in 10 recorded votes. “He owes it to the people of Idaho to tell them why he's missed those votes,” Farris said. Labrador's overall absentee rate is nearly double that of his Idaho Republican colleagues. Second District Congressman Rep. Mike Simpson has missed 2.9 percent of the votes during the nearly 14 years in office. Sen. Mike Crapo has missed 2.2 percent in the last 19 years. Since January of 2009, Sen. Jim Risch has missed just 1.5 percent/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune. More here. (Wikipedia photo for illustrative purposes)
Question: Has freshman Congressman Raul Labrador already put his personal interests ahead of Idaho's?
Raul Labrador will miss the 27 votes scheduled in the House for Wednesday to campaign for Mitt Romney in Miami, said Jake Ball, his district director. But Labrador will take a late flight back to Washington, D.C., late Wednesday and be back for votes on Thursday and Friday. Labrador leaves Idaho before dawn Wednesday to fly to Florida to help Romney appeal to Hispanic voters. “He'll be in Miami less than 24 hours,” Ball said/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here.
Question: The HucksOnline poll shows widespread disapproval of Congressman Raul Labrador's decision to miss 27 roll call votes today to campaign for Mitt Romney in Florida. Does this indicate Labrador's priorities this election season?
Republican Rep. Raul Labrador told me Monday that he wants to help Mitt Romney as he appears on the most important Spanish-language media in the country Wednesday night, but won't do so if he can't get back to Capitol Hill in time for Thursday's votes. “I don't want to miss two vote series in a row,” Labrador said. The House convenes Thursday at 10 a.m. for morning business and noon for legislative business. Romney's hour-long interview on Univision is at 10 p.m. Wednesday. This morning, I took a look at the House floor schedule published by Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va. Cantor has scheduled 27 votes for Wednesday, including the Veterans Fiduciary Reform Act, the Vulnerable Veterans Housing Reform Act, and the Border Security Information Improvement Act. Another measure would ban using public funds for party conventions and use the money for deficit reduction. Labrador said he would be OK with missing Wednesday's votes, as long as he could be back early Thursday/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here.
Question: Should Congressman Raul Labrador miss 27 votes on Wednesday to campaign for Mitt Romney in Florida?
Freshman GOP Rep. Raul Labrador uses his online newsletter to describe a recent visit from his former Boy Scout leader, Bob Swift, who stepped in for Labrador's largely absent father. Labrador has spoken about his move from Puerto Rico to Las Vegas with his mother, when Labrador was 13. Joining the LDS Church and the Scouts were key formative moments, he has said. But his description of his relationship with Swift, offers a more intimate view, including Swift's role as a father figure. Writes Labrador: “I remember vividly father-son campouts that we went on in which my friends’ fathers would go along with them. Not having my own father around to accompany me, Bob stepped in. He was like a father figure to me. Because of him, I felt like an equal among my peers and shared in the goodwill that was fostered during those outings”/Dan Popkey, Idaho Statesman. More here. (Wikipedia photo)
Question: Is there someone in your life that stepped in to fill an important role, as a father, mother, sibling, etc.?