US Chamber of Commerce President Tom Donohue didn’t mince any words at a meeting on infrastructure yesterday, telling the Republican party that if they didn’t pass immigration reform this year, they may as well not field a candidate in 2016.


The GOP shouldn’t even field a presidential candidate in 2016 unless Congress passes immigration reform this year, U.S. Chamber of Commerce President Tom Donohue said Monday.

“If the Republicans don’t do it, they shouldn’t bother to run a candidate in 2016,” Donohue joked at an event on infrastructure investment in D.C. “Think about that. Think about who the voters are. I just did that to get everybody’s attention.”

Republicans have focused on an immigration overhaul as a way to woo Hispanic voters, who have increasingly drifted to Democrats over the past two election cycles. Growing Hispanic populations in Nevada, Texas and elsewhere could make those states more amenable to Democrats in the future.

Donohue, whose group has spent months pushing House Republicans to support immigration legislation, was speaking about what he thought a dysfunctional Congress could still get done in 2014.

“You think Congress can get immigration reform done this year, in an election year?” moderator Eamon Javers asked Donohue.

“Yes, yes,” Donohue replied.

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