Democratic lawmaker says some in GOP base ‘animated by racism’

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WASHINGTON — An overhaul to the nation’s broken immigration system remains stalled because ‘‘the Republican base does have elements that are animated by racism,’’ the head of the House committee to elect Democratic lawmakers said Sunday.

Rep. Steve Israel’s comments are in line with those from House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi earlier this week, in which she blamed racial issues for the GOP’s failure to act on comprehensive immigration legislation. Asked about Pelosi’s comments, New York’s Israel said he agreed with her assessment.

‘‘To a significant extent, the Republican base does have elements that are animated by racism. And that’s unfortunate,’’ said Israel, who heads the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

Frustration is mounting about Republicans’ refusal to act on an immigration bill passed by the Senate last year.

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