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Business Groups Preparing to Fight Conservatives over Immigration

Friday, October 18, 2013

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Business groups that want Republicans to compromise more with Democrats and Washington’s permanent political class on comprehensive immigration reform may declare war on Tea Party candidates by putting money behind moderate and centrist candidates in Republican primaries.

According to the Wall Street Journal, groups like the Chamber of Commerce and the Business Roundtable are thinking about “backing challengers to tea-party conservatives in GOP primaries, increasing political engagement with centrist Republicans.” The Chamber of Commerce is reportedly “researching” what races they can influence in GOP primaries “in hopes of replacing tea-party conservatives with more business-friendly pragmatists” who would include support for comprehensive immigration reform.

Even before the government shutdown and the fight over defunding Obamacare, business groups “pressing for an immigration overhaul were venting frustration that the full House has been unwilling to consider any immigration legislation.” Reportedly, “several business executives said they were counting on establishment GOP leaders, including House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio and House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, to move immigration and future fiscal legislation.”

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