Rep. David Valadao of Hanford said Tuesday he hasn’t ruled out a break with his Republican party’s leadership over comprehensive immigration reform.
“A bunch of us are getting nervous,” said during a Tuesday telephone news conference, The Bakersfield Californian‘s Steven Mayer reported, echoing comments he and fellow Valley Republican Jeff Denham made to Bee Washington Bureau reporter Michael Doyle for a story published in Sunday’s Bee.
While Valadao said he favors a path to citizenship, he remained cautious Tuesday about whether to take the kind of risk Denham has taken and throw his support behind the bipartisan effort.
“I haven’t ruled that out yet,” Valadao said.
Several high-profile supporters of immigration reform joined Valadao at the news conference, including Fresno Chamber of Commerce CEO Al Smith, California Chamber President Marti Fisher, Nisei Farmers League President Manuel Cunha and Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims, who shared the stage for a round-table discussion (more coverage of Tuesday’s event, including video, here).
Amanda Renteria, who announced last month that she’ll run against Valadao next year, said in a statement Tuesday that Valadao is one of many in Washington who talk about problems rather than do something about them.
“Valadao could have taken part in bipartisan talks that have been going on all year, but he hasn’t,” she said. “He could have joined other Republicans and worked on a popular Democratic proposal, but he won’t do that, either. Congressman Valadao just isn’t getting the job done, and that’s unacceptable for the valley.”