Failure to pass immigration reform in the House of Representatives would be devastating for the Republican Party, as it must show immigrants it is a "different GOP," CNBC host Larry Kudlow tells Newsmax TV.
"I don’t think you do this just to get votes," Kudlow said, "You do this on principle and you do this on border security and economic growth."
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Still, there is a political dimension. He said Republicans must show the immigrant community they are open to immigration reform, "that this is a different GOP and that many of the prior statements are going to be erased and that the GOP will be a welcoming party."
Kudlow, who served as associate director in the Office of Management and Budget under President Ronald Reagan and as chief economist at Bear Stearns, says immigration reform is pro-growth.
The Senate passed immigration reform
Thursday on a 68-32 vote, but the House will likely craft its own document.
"I don’t think it's going to buy into the omnibus Senate package," he said. Immigration reform, if done properly isn't only pro-growth, Kudlow said, but also consistent with border security.
"I worked for Ronald Reagan, I'm a disciple of Jack Kemp," Kudlow said. "My view is America should always be a shining city on the hill and we should be an example of economic freedom and political freedom. (If) people want to come here, they should be able to come here."
There are controversies inside the Republican Party, but they are "fixable," Kudlow said.
"The Senate bill moved the ball in the right direction. Is it perfect? No. Do I understand every page of it? Heck, no," he said. But he feels the Senate bill does good things, and a America needs a larger labor force if it expects to grow.
"That's why we could put legal immigrants to work, whether they're what I call the brainiacs or whether they're the lower income wage people in agriculture and retailing, Kudlow said. "They'll help our country to grow."
The Supreme Court struck down portions of the federal Defense of Marriage Act on Wednesday, which would allow same-sex spouses in states that have legalized gay marriage to have the same benefits as other married couples. Kudlow said the possibility of same-sex couples receiving benefits retroactively would not have an enormous monetary impact.
"I don’t think there's going to be a lot of money involved," he tells Newsmax. A Congressional Budget Office estimate predicted the impact would be about one-tenth of one percent of Gross Domestic Product, he said.
"These are not big sums," he said. "But I would just say, generically, whether you're talking Social Security benefits, whether you're talking income taxes, whether you're talking gift and estate taxes, I just don’t think this is a huge financial event."
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