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A U.S. lawmaker who is the head of a House committee blames the failure of the country to pass legislation on immigration reform on what he calls Republican racism.

The comments of Democrat Steve Israel a member of the House of Representative’s go along with those made by Nancy Pelosi, the leader of the Democrats in the House earlier last week, in which she said racial issues caused the failure of the GOP to act upon Senate legislation containing comprehensive immigration reform.

Asked about comments made by Pelosi, Israel, from New York, said he was in agreement with her assessment. Pelosi said that she thought race was a reason the GOP was not bringing up legislation on immigration.

Israel, head of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee said to a great extent, the Republican base has elements that are controlled by racism, which is unfortunate.

Frustration continues to mount amongst the Democratic minority in the House and activists who support immigration about the refusal of the Republicans to act on an immigration bill that was far-reaching and approved last year by the Senate.

The bill from the Senate provides for a pathway to citizenship for the more than 11 million undocumented immigrants in the country as well as tightens the security along the border with Mexico.

Republicans continue to be wary of the debate over such a divisive issue, which might anger the core of their voters and undercut the possible electoral gains they hope for during the midterm elections to be held in November.

Pelosi had responded to someone’s questions about whether or not race factors into the way Republicans deal with Obama administration members. She has accused members of the GOP of being disrespectful to administration members and to women.

Representative Greg Walden, who is the head of the Republican’s effort to elect new House members, said that blaming racism was both unfortunate and wrong. He said colleagues of his in the GOP were critical of President Obama and the Democrats on policy grounds but not on racial ones.