If you're keeping score, Idaho GOP U.S. Rep. Raul Labrador made his ninth appearance July 6 on NBC's Meet the Press. But during Sunday's broadcast, he had some advice for host David Gregory.
"You need to change the slogan from 'If it's Sunday, it's Meet the Press' to 'If it's Sunday, it's another administration official making stuff up on Meet the Press,'" said Labrador. "It's really shameful."
Labrador had choice words for Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson, who earlier in the program said, "I believe we're going to stem this tide," referring to the flood of undocumented children, coming in from Central America.
"He made up a lot of different things," said Labrador. "He's saying that he's going to be able to stem this so that it doesn't reach 60,000 to 90,000 children. That's not going to happen. The administration's own estimates are that it's going to be 60,000 to 90,000 this year, and that it's going to increase to 150,000 next year. These are their own estimates. Now, they're coming on national TV and saying they're doing everything they can to stem the flow?"
Gregory challenged Labrador when the Idaho congressman said that the Obama administration needed to deport the children as soon as possible.
"I know it sounds harsh. I know it sounds difficult," answered Labrador. "We need to take a strong stand against what's happening."
But Washington Post columnist and former speech writer for President George W. Bush Michael Gerson, another guest on Meet the Press, cautioned Labrador on his rhetoric.
"This is a delicate balance for Republicans," said Gerson. "They need to be critical of the president without alienating a rising demographic group, and they have not been very good at that. When you go after kids and mothers, that's a long-term problem for the Republican Party."
When, or even if, Idaho Congressman Raul Labrador is successful in securing the post of House majority leader, the perks of the job will extend far beyond just more appearances on Sunday morning talk shows.
This morning's New York Times reports that outgoing House Majority Leader Eric Cantor is about to lose "a bump in salary, a large political staff, an elegant office suite on the second floor of the Capitol and a security detail" that in addition to providing safety, also serve as his personal chauffeurs.
Earlier this week, Idaho's 1st District congressman officially announced his candidacy for the position of House majority leader, in the wake of Cantor's loss in a GOP primary in his home state of Virginia.
The U.S. Capitol Police provides only congressional leadership with permanent security, a perk of the House majority leader position.
The Times reports that former House Majority Leader Dick Armey said his connection to the six officers who drove him around the capital in a black SUV was his "closest relationship" from his years in Congress.
According to the Times, Cantor had more than 25 people on his majority leader payroll. That's in addition to his own 20 regular staff members.
The House majority leader position also comes with approximately $20,000 more in annual salary.
Idaho GOP Rep. Raul Labrador was back in front of the TV cameras this morning, this time appearing on ABC's This Week With George Stephanopoulos.
"We're four days away from reaching the debt ceiling. We gave the president an offer where we would extend the debt ceiling without any requirements ... and I don't see why the president is not accepting that or working with us," said Labrador. "I think it's been very difficult to work with [Obama]. He wouldn't even come to the table to negotiate."
And Labrador wasted no time to bring the debate surrounding the federal government shutdown and the deadline for hitting the nation's debt ceiling back to the Affordable Care Act.
"If you look at Obamacare, the president has given exemptions to friends and businesses," he said. "All we're asking is to give the same exception to the American people. I don't think that's too much to ask."
Minnesota Democratic Rep. Keith Ellison, sitting alongside Labrador, was having none of it.
"We can talk about all these things after we reopen the government and pay America's debts," said Ellison. "There are a number of things we could do, but we can't do them under the gun we're under right now."
"We just offered you a six-week extension," countered Labrador.
"Six weeks is no good," responded Ellison. "Do you want to do this again in six weeks? That's crazy."
With a backdrop conversation surrounding "The American Dream," on the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream " speech on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., Labrador spoke of his own journey, beginning with his birth in Puerto Rico.
"I was born four years after the March on Washington. I was born to a single mother who lost her job because she was pregnant. But the most important thing she decided was to give me a good life," said Labrador. "She thought the only way I would be successful in life was to gain an education ... and learn English. She told me, 'In private, we can speak Spanish, but when you're in public, speak English.'"
Labrador said he watched archival footage of King's speech three times in the past 24 hours.
"I think we need our leadership to be more hopeful," he said. "[Dr. King] talked about not being bitter. It was a hope. It was a beautiful speech. I think African American leadership needs to start thinking about that hope that Martin Luther King gave us, instead of trying to get the community to think that everything is hopeless and without a future. I think when we tell our young people in America they can't succeed anymore, you will see more and more young people not succeed."
If it's Sunday, Raul Labrador must be near a TV camera. The two-term congressman, representing Idaho's 1st Congressional District, will appear—for the seventh time—Sunday, Aug. 25 on NBC's Meet the Press.
During his most recent appearance, just last month, Labrador insisted that unless immigration reform was done right, "It could be the death of the Republican Party."
"If we don't do it right, this is what is going to happen: We're going to lose our base because we're still going to have a large number of illegal immigrants coming into the United States and the Hispanic community is not going to listen to us because they're going to always listen to, at this point, the people who are offering more, that are offering a faster path to citizenship. I think we lose on both grounds if we don't do it right," said Labrador.
Since his last appearance on July 7, Labrador announced that he would not pursue a run to become Idaho's next governor—at least not yet. Instead, Labrador is expected to run for a third term to the U.S. House.
Following his Aug. 14 afternoon's announcement that he would not be running for Governor of Idaho and instead was leaning toward a third term in the U.S. House, Idaho Republican Rep. Raul Labrador hosted a standing-room only town hall meeting last night at Meridian City Hall.
This morning's Idaho Press-Tribune reports that Labrador addressed a list of constituent concerns, including immigration reform, the budget mess that has consumed the congressional agenda and America's involvement in international conflicts.
"We need to rethink, for example, the war [in Afghanistan]," said Labrador. "We need to rethink exactly what we're doing, what our mission is. You see people like [Arizona Republican Sen.] John McCain and he goes out there and anybody who looks at him the wrong way he wants to go to war with them. We want a strong nation that uses that strength in a very humble way. We're not going about trying to fix all the problems that are in the world."
The Press-Tribune reports that Labrador indicated that he opposed a "path to citizenship."
"What I want is a system where [those immigrants already in the country] can get in the same line that exists right now for any other person who wants to get here legally, not giving them a special path [ahead of] people who are trying to do it the right way."
Idaho Republican Rep. Raul Labrador's big announcement Aug. 14 was ... wait for it ... that he likes his job.
Creating a modest amount of political chatter prior to his Wednesday afternoon press conference at Meridian City Hall, pundits guessed that he might attempt a run for Idaho Governor. But no, Labrador said, he'll be running for re-election in 2014, seeking a third term representing Idaho's First Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Labrador has been participating in a series of town hall meetings throughout his district, including stops in Coeur d'Alene and Lewiston.
Wednesday evening, Labrador was slated for a face-to-face with citizens at Meridian City Hall. Friday, Aug. 15, Labrador is expected to squeeze into the Council Mountain Cafe in Adams County with some of his constituents.
Core members of the U.S. House Republican majority met privately July 10 to consider pending immigration reform legislation, but when they emerged, they sounded defiant, dismissing the recently-passed U.S. Senate measure.
This morning's New York Times reports that the meeting resulted in key House members indicating they don't "plan to take up anything resembling the Senate bill, which many believe is bad policy and smacks of an amnesty strongly opposed by the conservatives who hold sway over much of the rank and file."
"'Comprehensive' has always been a swear word in the House of Representatives, but having a step-by-step approach that deals with the issues comprehensively, I don't think that's dead," Idaho Republican Rep. Raul Labrador told the Times.
Labrador began his week cautioning his own political party on the July 7 edition of NBC's Meet the Press.
"If we don't do it right, this is what is going to happen: We're going to lose our base because we're still going to have a large number of illegal immigrants coming into the United States and the Hispanic community is not going to listen to us because they're going to always listen to, at this point, the people who are offering more, that are offering a faster path to citizenship," said Labrador. "I think we lose on both grounds if we don't do it right."
Meanwhile, former President George W. Bush made some rare political comments July 10 during a naturalization ceremony at his new presidential center outside of Dallas.
“The laws governing the immigration system aren’t working," said Bush. "I do hope there is a positive resolution to the debate, and I hope during the debate that we keep a benevolent spirit in mind and we understand the contributions that immigrants make to our country.”
But Labrador wasn't kind to the ex-president.
"He's just another voice on this issue," Labrador told the Washington Post. "[House members] are all independent actors here. We're not little kids waiting for someone to tell us how to vote and act."