Luke Russert Slams GOP Immigration Bill As ‘Very Far To The Right'

On Tuesday morning, Luke Russert, NBC News Congressional Correspondent, appeared on MSNBC’s The Rundown with Jose Diaz-Balart to discuss the current tensions between the newly-controlled Republican Congress and President Obama. Speaking to anchor Jose Diaz-Balart, Russert criticized the GOP over the issue of immigration and argued that they “are going to move forward with their bill on Wednesday, Jose. It goes very far to the right.” 

Russert’s attack on the GOP’s immigration proposal came following a detailed explanation of how Speaker Boehner wants to work with the White House on a jobs bill and funding for military action against ISIS. The NBC reporter then quickly moved on to playing up the GOP’s “very far to the right” position on immigration: 

[It] Seeks to repeal President Obama's DACA order from 2012 that he made during that campaign. They also want to repeal the latest executive order. So they're going to see what the possibility is of some sort of agreement on immigration, but if the House Republicans are starting off so far to the right, that will probably become more moderated once the bill goes over to the Senate.  

Rather than explain why the GOP repeatedly opposed President Obama’s unilateral action on immigration, the NBC reporter did his best to defend the president from any criticism: 

It will be interesting to see what President Obama says in regarding to how he wants to work with them. I mean, he’s basically been saying to them look I tried working with you guys for a few years, you didn't want to move at all, I don't know what we can do on this. 

Russert’s rhetoric is nothing new given how NBCers history of scolding the GOP. In recent weeks, Russert claimed that Speaker Boehner survived a challenge from the GOP’s “barking” “kamikaze caucus" and during the 2014 midterms, the NBC reporter labeled then-candidate Joni Ernst as having “rather extreme Tea Party views.” 

See relevant transcript below. 

MSNBC’s The Rundown with Jose Diaz-Balart

January 13, 2015

JOSE DIAZ-BALART: And Luke, Speaker Boehner says veto threats from the president prove he’s not listening to Americans. How will Republicans remember those threats like the Keystone Pipeline when it comes to compromise elsewhere? 

LUKE RUSSERT: Well they'll say it’s more of the same. They'll say the president talks a good game about compromising but when push comes to shove he’s not willing to do it. I will be really interested to see today, Jose, what specifically is talked about in that meeting regarding three issues. Republicans have told me they want to talk to the president about jobs, see if they can find some sort of common ground on a jobs bill. That's not been able to happen in the past because the president’s wanted more infrastructure spending which a lot of Republicans say adds to the deficit. And Republicans have wanted to have a lot of tax credits which the president says adds to the deficit. So that's a big source of disagreement how they move forward on that.

The other though two issues that I think are very fascinating here, immigration and the continuing war on ISIS. House Speaker John Boehner, that press conference you’re seeing right there, our own producer Alex Moss said that he discussed that he wanted to have perhaps a new authorization of military force agreement in order to go after ISIS. That would bring Congress more into the process and shed some light on what exactly the U.S. military operations are regarding ISIS, which has been ongoing now since really roughly in the middle of last year, and perhaps around fall of last year. It also its been ongoing at a significant cost to the U.S. Treasury. So there wants to be more light shed on that from Republicans.

And then the issue of immigration, that’s something that’s been around for some time here on Capitol Hill. The Republicans are going to move forward with their bill on Wednesday, Jose. It goes very far to the right. Seeks to repeal President Obama's DACA order from 2012 that he made during that campaign. They also want to repeal the latest executive order. So they're going to see what the possibility is of some sort of agreement on immigration, but if the House Republicans are starting off so far to the right, that will probably become more moderated once the bill goes over to the Senate. It will be interesting to see what President Obama says in regarding to how he wants to work with them. I mean, he’s basically been saying to them look I tried working with you guys for a few years, you didn't want to move at all, I don't know what we can do on this. 

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