Politico reported yesterday that a serious immigration bill is ready to go in the Senate.
Senate negotiators cleared the last major hurdle to reaching a bipartisan immigration reform deal Saturday as labor and business groups signed off on a visa program for future low-skilled workers, according to sources familiar with the talks.
The agreement marks a major breakthrough and significantly improves the odds of passing a larger immigration bill because it brings two powerful Washington interests on board on an issue that contributed to the defeat of past reform efforts. ...Politico
Marco Rubio is pictured as one of the senators in on the deal. But Rubio wants a delay (and that's putting it politely!).
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) is warning Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) not to rush an immigration-reform bill through his committee, calling for extensive hearings on the legislation’s many provisions.
In a letter to Leahy on Saturday, the Tea Party favorite and member of the Senate “Gang of Eight” immigration group cautioned against a “rush to legislate.”
“I am aware that the Judiciary Committee, both under your leadership and under the leadership of your predecessors, has conducted a number of hearings related to immigration reform,” wrote Rubio in the letter. “But they cannot be a substitute for fresh hearings to consider specific legislation as part of a national conversation.” ...The Hill
Which reminds us that the House could and may well throw a wrench into the progress the Senate has made. Republican strategists/desperados are trying to make this bill a Republican triumph.
We need Speaker Boehner and RNC Chairman Reince Priebus to stand up loudly and strongly for immigration reform and to become the poster boys for the change in the Republican Party. They need to proclaim that the GOP welcomes immigrants, thanks those who have come here to help build our economy and wants them to reinvigorate our capitalist, free enterprise, individual entrepreneurialism. They need to stress that Democratic policies of debt and handouts threaten to recreate the situations in their former nations that caused them to flee to the land of opportunity -- America. ...Morris and McGann at Real Clear Politics
Which raises the question of whether the unswift foxes on the Democratic side are prepared to use any obstruction (Rubio?) of the immigration bill by the tea party against Republicans in the 2014 campaigns -- starting now.
Ezra Klein goes straight to the issue at the center of the immigration legislation. Immigration, right? Maybe not so much.
The overriding fact driving almost everything that happens in American politics right now is that both elections and governance are zero-sum games between the two parties: For one side to win, the other side has to lose. ...Ezra Klein,Wonkblog,WaPo
Need one say more? Well, yeah.
The sole major exception is immigration reform. On this one issue, both parties — and, importantly, their allied interest groups — see the game as positive sum. They believe they can both win. ...Klein, WaPo
So compromise this time could be win/win.
Klein thinks this bill could -- might just -- make it through the House.
The deal is a classic political compromise: It splits the difference between the Chamber’s interest in more guest workers and Labor’s interest in keeping wages high. But deals like that have been rare in Washington lately. While split-the-difference compromises are almost always available, they’re rarely taken, as the two sides don’t actually want a compromise. Consider the budget, wherein Democrats would love a deal that includes some taxes and some spending cuts, but where Republicans don’t want a compromise that includes any tax increases at all.
In this case, however, both sides wanted a compromise. The business community needs a better immigration system. Organized labor needs to unionize immigrant workers, and it needs to remove the downward pressure illegal immigration puts on wages. And so, lo and behold, there’s a compromise. ...Klein, WaPo