We have the GOP leader, Mitch McConnell, running around behind the scenes promoting the amnesty bill with his base of donors. We have John Cornyn, the number 2 Republican, pushing a compromise that might be used for a final deal. Now, we have John Thune, the Conference Chair, saying that he hopes to attract more Republicans to the bill and raise the number of GOP yes votes.
Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), the third-highest ranking Republican in the Senate, said he expects the Gang of Eight immigration bill will gain more than 60 votes, enough to avoid a filibuster from opponents.
“I think there’s a very real possibility that that they’ll have 60 — beyond 60, north of 60 — in order to get on the bill and then probably ultimately to pass it. The question is, can change be made in order to attract more people to it and make it a larger number?” said Thune on MSNBC’s “Mitchell Reports.”
Thune said he would wait until the bill went through the amendment process before deciding if he could support it.”I’m going to make that judgment after it moves across the floor and we get an opportunity through the amendment process to see how the bill gets changed, how it might get improved,” he said.
If you read between the lines of the statements from most GOP senators, particularly those in leadership, they are not concerned about the malice of the bill in itself; they are concerned about tweaking the bill so more Republicans can vote for it and pressure the GOP-controlled House into passing amnesty first, enforcement later (or never).
Imagine for a moment a slew of Republicans responding to debate over Obamacare with statements about tweaking or ameliorating it so we can “get something passed?” How can there be no outrage at a bill that issues blanket amnesty, will balloon the welfare state, impedes interior enforcement, precludes future deportation, and creates a permanent Democrat majority?
Imagine for a moment a GOP conference that would be truly united in an intrepid and articulate opposition to this bill; an opposition party that would offer true reform bills, such as the proposals introduced by the House Judiciary Committee?
While everyone is debating the future of the Hispanic vote, the establishment Republicans fail to see that a bold contrast on this issue would allow us to pick up so many new voters across the rest of the electorate. Independents and Reagan Democrats are solidly against amnesty, certainly before enforcement. In fact, all of the recent polling data show that the majority of Americans want lower immigration levels, not policies that will double the current record baseline of immigration. Yet, now that Republicans are tepidly following along with this instead of proudly and boldly opposing it, they will neither win the Hispanic vote nor make inroads into a group of very winnable white working class voters.
Imagine a Republican Party that actually behaved like a conservative party.
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