Chris Matthews: Boehner Should Try To Pass Immigration Reform Before He Leaves

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Talking to newly installed MSNBC anchor Brian Williams about the Boehner resignation Friday morning, fellow MSNBC host Chris Matthews said he wishes the outgoing Speaker would try to pass immigration reform before he leaves.

"I think it would be great if he said okay, we're a democracy here for a couple hours," Matthews said of Boehner. "We're going to vote on the immigration bill before I leave."

Matthews said passing immigration reform would put the fight behind us, "leaving only the racists to talk about it."

CHRIS MATTHEWS: I just wish John Boehner -- this is just my opinion hat being put on here. If he's going to get a CR through before he leaves, the Speakership, why not pass or at least bring to a vote the immigration bill passed in a bipartisan fashion by the Senate? And everyone who covers the Hill knows this, left, right, and center. If that came to a vote, we would have the immigration fight behind us going into this presidential election, leaving only the racists to talk about it. Everyone else would say, you know, that was a pretty darn good compromise. We're going to have requirements so people no longer are being hired illegally. There's going to be some kind of way to be a citizen overtime with a lot of obstacles, but you can get there.

It's a really good bill passed with at least a dozen Republican Senators of goodwill, like Lindsey Graham. I think it would be great if he said okay, we're a democracy here for a couple hours. We're going to vote on the immigration bill before I leave.

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC: I'm sorry to interrupt, but on that point, that's a really, really good point and it may become really important in what happens next. And I'm just wondering, when that first happened when it passed the Senate, there was a lot of talk that if John Boehner put it on the floor, there were enough Republican votes to pass it in the House. Is that still true? If he waved a magic wand and put the bill on the floor today, would it pass?

MATTHEWS: Well, Rach, the Democrats would be all for it. The Hispanic groups, the Black Caucus, the liberals. Everybody would be for it because it basically opens the door to becoming part of us, for the people who have been here and committed their lives to America and their children and grandchildren to America. The good people who said we are Americans, who may not have come in here legally and may not have the documents, but we are Americans, darn it, and we want to become part of this country. but

But we also want to stop the incentives of people coming into the country to get jobs illegally. Somebody in a Mexican restaurant in Chicago shouldn't decide who comes in the country. The American people should decide on a regular progressive immigration policy. And I think that's in the bill. I think it was a very balanced bill and could be passed in a minute in the House. It would be great if Boehner brought it up and passed it.

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