Whether it is Cornyn’s “poison pill,” or what might be Marco Rubio’s half-a-poison pill which will enact virtually unreachable triggers before green cards are even given, little doubt is left that Republicans are doing everything they can to kill immigration reform.
There is grumbling among some Democrats that they’re in this bind because Rubio — a key Gang member — made border security an issue by saying it needed to be tightened in order to get 60 Senate votes. Then, the Florida Republican embraced the Cornyn plan when it was announced last week. And on Sean Hannity’s radio show Wednesday, Rubio described it as “an excellent place to start in terms of having that conversation.”
Frankly, I think Reid should call for the vote and put the entire Senate on notice. But then this happened.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) wanted to put the Cornyn plan up for a vote Wednesday hoping to kill it quickly and show undecided Republicans that it’s going nowhere. But Reid held back at the GOP’s request, according to two Senate Democratic leadership aides. A Cornyn spokesman said that wasn’t the case.
So much dissonance, and little action.
Meanwhile, more GOPers are signing up with Cornyn’s amendment, including some “moderates” who seem to be thinking more about re-election than getting the job done (Kirk, R-Illinois). The more time wasted, the more chances this bill will be worsened, or ultimately, killed.
The Senate and the rest of Congress, still, are not paying attention to the people.
But at this point, in states represented by key advocates of immigration reform, both the Gang of Eight proposal and a pathway to citizenship earn robust support, as described.
In Florida, where GOP Sen. Marco Rubio has been one of the staunchest supporters of reform legislation, 72 percent of voters said they support the legislation (including 45 percent who strongly support it) and 71 percent backed the pathway to citizenship.
In South Carolina, home to reform-boosting Republican Lindsey Graham, those numbers were only a bit lower: 62 percent who support the Gang of Eight bill and 60 percent who backed the pathway to citizenship.
And in Texas, the rapidly changing but still-conservative state with two senators who have resisted reform – Ted Cruz and John Cornyn – 67 percent said they could support the reform bill as described, with 72 percent backing a pathway to citizenship.
The average support for the “Gang of Eight” legislation was just under 68 percent, according to the pollsters.
Let’s just call the damn question, or else, this blogger will start campaigning against any bill that includes, or that looks like, Cornyn’s poison pill.
As Schumer told Cornyn while he berated his amendment, “go back to the drawing boards.”
UPDATE: And now Ted Poe and his buddies are copycatting Cornyn.
Indeed, the SMART Act is nearly identical to Cornyn’s RESULTS amendment, which would require the Department of Homeland Security to achieve full operational control of the country’s Southwest border with a 90 percent apprehension rate of undocumented migrants and enforce a biometric entry/exit system that prevents visa overstays.
And, get this, Congress gets a say, in what 90% actually means.