President Barack Obama is being "political and cynical" when it comes to immigration reform, Republican Rep. Tom Cole of Oklahoma said Sunday, complaining the president has been using the issue as a "political weapon."
"He promised to have a bill within 100 days, and he didn't do any of those things," Cole said Sunday on ABC's "This Week"
program. "He said he would act this year, then put it off after the elections for political reasons, so it's been a political weapon rather than a problem to be solved."
In addition, Cole pointed out that even though the Senate passed its own immigration reform bill over a year ago, that bill wasn't widely supported by Senate Republicans and had little hope of passing in the House.
"Two out of every three Republicans in the Senate voted against it," said Cole. "So the idea it was going to pass a Republican House was just never in the cards. And, frankly, the threat was always that this bill will be used as a political football going back and forward."
He said he thinks that instead of announcing his executive action before the year ends, Obama would be better served to wait until the next Congress is sworn in.
"It's not as if he can't do this down the road," said Cole. "He's trying to pick a fight."
But meanwhile, talk on a government shutdown over the immigration issue should not be on the table, Cole insisted.
"It's an inappropriate weapon, inappropriate tool," said Cole. "What ought to be done, frankly, is number one, if we think he's gone beyond legal limits, go to the court."
Cole, though, believes Obama is "trying to bait us into doing some of these extreme things that have been suggested, [but] I don't think we will."
Instead, he'd said he would prefer starting with a border security bill that could move through the House and Senate as a bipartisan issue, and then see how Obama would respond.
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