Democratic lawmaker: GOP base 'animated by racism'

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WASHINGTON -- The head of the Democrats' committee to elect members to the House says, quote, "the Republican base does have elements that are animated by racism, and that's unfortunate."

Rep. Steve Israel of New York said Sunday that not all Republicans are motivated by racism but many in the GOP oppose a bipartisan immigration bill on those grounds. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee chairman adds that his allies are ready to take action if House Republicans drop their opposition.

Last week, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi blamed racial issues for the GOP's failure to act on comprehensive immigration legislation.

Oregon's Rep. Greg Walden, who heads Republicans' efforts to elect House members, said Pelosi's comment was "both wrong and unfortunate."

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