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Charlie Rangel: GOP 'Circus' On Immigration Reform Is 'Sad'

06/20/2013 09:33 am 09:33:17 | Updated Jun 20, 2013

Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.) had some harsh criticism for the Republican Party on Wednesday over conservative debate on immigration reform.

Rangel criticized the House GOP for being so heavily influenced by the tea party and predicted Republicans' reluctance would be "the last nail in the coffin."

“It's sad for the country that a handful of people can actually control the majority party,” Rangel told MSNBC's Martin Bashir. "I think their refusal to, or reluctance to endorse an immigration bill that's good for this great country of ours is going to be the last nail in the coffin of the Republican Party and that would be unfortunate."

“It’s sad for a country that’s a world leader to catch yourself in this embarrassing position,” Rangel continued. “When you think that about the lives lost in wars in order to save this democracy and to see that, it’s really just now a circus.”

The tea party has expressed opposition to a comprehensive immigration bill being pushed in the Senate by the so-called "gang of eight." Members of the tea party even booed Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) at a recent rally on immigration reform, calling him a "traitor" and a "sell-out."

Gang of eight senators are now working on a plan to appease conservatives who say they won't support the bill unless its border provisions are strengthened. It could be an amendment from non-group members Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) and John Hoeven (R-N.D.), which could use triggers for a path to citizenship similar to those in Cornyn's amendment but with more specifically defined metrics for when those requirements were met.

Corker and Hoeven met with members of the gang of eight on Wednesday morning to discuss their border security ideas. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) told reporters it was "a good meeting," but wouldn't go into details about a timeline for the gang of eight's border talks. "We're working, we're working, we're working," he said, walking away toward a meeting.

"We're getting better but it's not even close to being done yet," he added.

After a meeting with fellow Republicans, Corker told reporters they had "a really good morning" of talks and he thinks they have ideas that "would make a huge difference in people's minds as far as us being successful with border security."

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