Rep. Crowley: Immigration, Energy Bills Are About Jobs

By Matt Loffman

Apr 26, 2010 3:27pm

ABC News’ Rick Klein reports: With energy and immigration jostling for position on the Democratic agenda this spring, some moderate Democrats are expressing concern that Democratic leaders are straying from their promise to focus on the economy and jobs in advance of this year’s congressional elections. But on ABC’s “Top Line” today, Rep. Joseph Crowley, D-N.Y., a member of House Democratic leadership, said such critiques are unfounded. “I would disagree with that. I think that both issues [energy and immigration] do touch incredibly on the economy of our country,” Crowley said. “I think energy reform — talking about green jobs and expanding our economy through the greening of America, talking about getting off our reliance on fossil fuels and our enemies who control that in this world. Talking about immigration reform — actually creating a real holistic approach to immigration reform, we would deal with the employers who have been exploiting workers, have been undermining and undercutting American workers in this country. “I think they’re all important and need to be addressed, but we have been working on jobs. We continue to work on that,” Crowley continued. “We see the stimulus bill that we passed last year is still working, our projects are still going up as we speak. So we are focused and will continue to focus on jobs and getting people back to work and improving this economy. I think the economy is improving. So it’s happening.” Crowley, a vice-chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and chairman of the New Democrat Coalition, acknowledged unease among some of his colleagues in closely divided districts. But he said the main frustration remains that legislation passed by the House is getting bottled up in the Senate: “I know we don’t control the Senate’s calendar or how they operate over there. We’ve passed over 300 bills that they’ve yet to take up in the Senate so I think that they’re both important issues. I’m from New York I’m from Queens in the Bronx you know I can walk and chew gum at the same time. I think we can do both.” He added: “Yeah there are some concerns out there that we’ve tackled a lot so far. But I do think that some of these issues – like, we’ve already done energy reform, I think we wait and see what the Senate comes out with, and I’m not holding my breath at this point yet that anything will happen before the election  ”It’s not a question of what we want to deal with. If the Senate does take these up I think the ball then will be back in our court and we’ll have to take them up. So it really again it goes back to the Senate, them moving on the legislation they’ve been sitting on. If they do take it up, we’ll have no choice. We’ll have to take it up regardless of what people’s feelings about the — the political calendar so far this year.” Crowley also told us he’s happy to attend the New York Yankees’ reception at the White House today, despite his allegiance to the rival New York Mets. “I’m going to be there,” Crowley said. “I’m sorry guys — I represent the Bronx. I’m going to be there for the Yankees today — no question about it.” Crowley also took a swipe at former Gov. Eliot Spitzer, D-N.Y., over his suggestion in a New York Times interview that he may not support the presumed Democratic candidate for governor this year, Attorney General Andrew Cuomo. Watch the interview with Rep. Joe Crowley HERE. Also on “Top Line” today, we chatted with Ceci Connolly of The Washington Post, about the new book she helped write with several of her Post colleagues: “Landmark: “The Inside Story of America’s New Health Care Law and What It Means for Us All.”  Watch the discussion with Ceci Connolly HERE.

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