Jared Polis goes off on House GOP for ignoring immigration reform


Rep. Jared Polis, D-Boulder.

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DENVER — Colorado Congressmen Jared Polis shouted down the Republican colleague running the House floor Thursday afternoon, launching a tirade over the GOP’s refusal to take up the issue of immigration reform.

After being recognize to speak, Polis, D-Boulder, recognized the presence of some immigration reform supporters in the House gallery; and Speaker Pro Tempore Jackie Walorski, R-Ind., noted that it was out of order for him to announce the presence of guests in the gallery.

That’s when Polis sort of flipped out.

“Madam Speaker, the gentle people in the gallery … would not have to be in the gallery … advocating if this House simply took up the bill,” Polis said, alluding to the major immigration overhaul that passed the full Senate this summer on a broadly bipartisan vote.

That legislation, crafted largely by eight senators including Colorado Democrat Michael Bennet, would appropriate $40 billion to enhance security on the U.S.-Mexico border over the next four years while also triggering a 13-year path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.

Despite the legislation getting the support of 68 senators, House leadership has stated that it will not be taking action on that bill.

“Do you think they want to be spending their time here, Madam Speaker? Is that what you think?” Polis went on.

“You think they want to be here in the gallery, probably traveling at their own expense to Washington? And you’re saying we’re addressing them, and that’s what you’re upset about Madam Speaker? I want you, Madam Speaker, to address the reason that they are here! They are here because our government is tearing apart their families, Madam Speaker!”

“Will the gentleman from Colorado understand all members–” Walorski began, before being interrupted by Polis.

“No, will the speaker understand that the speaker is obstructing H.R. 15 from coming to the floor? Will the speaker understand that?” he demanded. “Will the speaker understand that the speaker is preventing H.R. 15 from coming to the floor and that is why there are men and women in the gallery that potentially face deportation and their families are being torn apart? It’s very simple. It’s very simple. It’s very simple, Madam Speaker. Very simple.”

Watch the full exchange here:

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