josh earnest white house press secretary
This is about how far White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest was from ripping Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) head off during a press briefing at the White House today following the newly elected Speaker of the House’s pledge not to work with President Obama on immigration reform (file photo: September 3, 2015). REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) affirmed on Sunday that immigration reform is dead, a political reality he promised to preserve as the newly-elected Speaker of the House. He pledged to prevent comprehensive immigration reform from coming to a vote under his leadership as long as Obama is in office, calling the President “untrustworthy” on immigration reform following his use of executive actions to sidestep congress’ inaction. Democrats say that they actions were necessary because of Republican obstruction.

“I understand he has some complicated politics to take care of in the House when it comes to significant fractures inside of his own conference. He knows best how to handle that,” White House Spokesman Jonathan Earnest told reporters on Monday, according to The Hill.

“But pandering to the extreme right wing of the Republican conference, including preposterous comments like that, has not served the party or the country very well.”

By preventing a vote on immigration reform, Ryan is fulfilling a pledge to House’s Freedom Caucus, an apparent precondition for his speakership. Ryan’s predecessor Rep. John Boehner also refused to bring the popular bill to the floor for a vote.

“We fight over tactics because we don’t have a vision,” Ryan said yesterday on “Fox News Sunday” in talking points that we’re repeated on other shows. “We’ve been too timid on policy; we’ve been too timid on vision – we have none.”

Ryan supports immigration reform, including legal status for immigrants in the country illegally. Yet like Boehner, he’s willing to put his pro-immigration views aside to try and unite the Republican party in the House.

Ryan added that he wants the Republicans to be a “proposition” party, not just an “opposition” party.

This year, Republican propositions on immigration reform have come from the presidential candidates themselves, who vary from Jeb Bush (who supports worker visas and deportation relief), to Donald Trump, who would strip some second generation immigrants of citizenship and deport them and their families.

Those visions are far from timid, but put them together and they’re certainly blurry. Can Ryan unite his party through the foggy infighting?

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