As Congressman Paul Ryan positions himself for serving as the next Speaker of the House, he has already caused a stir among Jewish liberals. Seeking increasing support from the House Freedom Caucus, Congressman Ryan has pledged to hold a strong conservative voice- so long as Obama is still in the White House.
Jacob Kornbluh writes in Jewish Insider:
On Tuesday, it was reported that Ryan promised members of the House Freedom Caucus (HFC) that he won’t bring immigration-reform legislation to the House floor “so long as Barack Obama is president.” The letter, obtained by National Review, was given to the Republican representatives after receiving a majority of their support in his race for Speaker.
Stosh Cotler, CEO of Bend the Arc, a Jewish social justice group, blasted Ryan for promising to block immigration reform from coming up for a vote while President Obama remains in office. “Congressman Ryan’s promise to placate the extreme right-wing of his party is a sad act of political cowardice,” Cotler said in a statement. “When Ryan ran for Vice President in 2012, he presented himself as a bold and future-thinking reformer. But his capitulation to the most extreme members of his party proves that to be no more than empty rhetoric. It’s deeply disappointing that he would willingly leave millions of families stranded in the shadows in order to placate the worst political demands of his party’s extremist wing.”
The more-affiliated Jewish Democratic group was equally critical of the incoming speaker.
“Ryan’s voting record and his right-wing politics were already far out of step with the American Jewish community,” Greg Rosenbaum, chairman of the National Jewish Democratic Council (NJDC), told Jewish Insider. “That he decided to move even further right by capitulating to the so-called House Freedom Caucus, and one of their specific demands on blocking immigration reform, only shows that the Republican-controlled congress is going to alienate Jewish voters even more under Speaker Ryan.”
You can read the whole piece here.