The Washington Post

Pelosi: House GOP holding up immigration bill because of race

When asked if Republicans treat the Obama administration unfairly based on racial biases, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), accused the GOP of harboring "self-evident" contempt toward women. She also said race may be a factor in the delay of immigration reform. Speaker of the House John Boehner denied any "problem of race." (Sarah Parnass/The Washington Post)


House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Cali) told reporters Thursday that the Republican opposition to comprehensive immigration reform is fueled, at least partially, by race.

"I think race has something to do with the fact that (the GOP House leadership) are not bringing up an immigration bill," Pelosi said Thursday morning, later adding: "I've heard them say to the Irish, 'if it were just you this would be easy.'"

Pelosi's comments came after she was asked by reporters at her weekly media briefing whether or not tense exchanges between President Obama, some of his top officials and Cabinet members, and House Republicans -- most recently between Attorney General Eric Holder and Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Tex.) -- are in-part motivated by race.

​"I think, generally speaking, they are disrespectful of members of the president's administration," she said. "I think their disdain for anyone who disagrees with them is across the board. I don't want to go to the race piece, but I think it certainly applies to women. It's so self-evident that it applies to women."

Asked the same question, moments later, House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) grew angry -- insisting that the clashes between the GOP and the Obama administration are not racially motivated.

"There is no issue of race here," Boehner said, as his demeanor grew visibly bothered, and his tone turned angry.

"The frustration is that the American people have not been told the truth about what happened at the IRS, the American people have not been told the truth about what happened at Fast and Furious, the administration has not told the American people the truth about what happened at Benghazi." Bohner said.

"The administration refuses to tell us the truth!" an angry Boehner said before walking briskly off the podium.

Wesley Lowery is a national reporter covering law enforcement and justice for the Washington Post. He previously covered Congress and national politics.



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