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June 22, 2007

Alexander: No; McConnell Now A Wobbler

NRO gets a response from Alexander's office:

I will vote against cloture to end debate on the current immigration bill when it comes before us next week. Other than the war on terror, there is nothing more important than fixing our broken immigration system, and we must keep working on it for as long as it takes to get it right, but right must include a process that earns the confidence of the American people, and this bill does not do that.

This problem has been years in the making and will take time to fix. We must secure the border first once and for all, verified by credible sources, without amnesty – you are here legally or you are not here.

McConnell -- who had been twisting arms to get this piece of shit passed -- sounds a bit like he's re-evaluating the stituation.

Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has long called for an immigration overhaul, saying the current situation is deeply flawed. And as the Senate minority leader, McConnell is central to shepherding legislation the president wants.

But in an interview with The Associated Press on Thursday, McConnell said he would not decide how to vote on the measure until a long series of amendments are disposed of next week.

"The bill on the merits is a mixed bag," said McConnell, who had brushed aside reporters' questions on immigration Tuesday and Wednesday. "I'm not uniformly enthusiastic about it."

"At the end of the process," he said, "we're going to have to make a call as to whether this is an improvement over the status quo. I'm not ready to make that call yet."

This is pretty much bullshit. The manuever he's cooperating with Reid on would deny any consideration of any amendments that might improve the bill, so if he finds it currently lacking, "the process" isn't going to improve it any.


McConnell's ambivalence has been known to colleagues, but Thursday's comments about his misgivings were especially blunt and specific.

Also on Thursday, Texas' two Republican senators, John Cornyn and Kay Bailey Hutchison, said they would vote against bringing the bill back to the Senate floor.


The immigration debate has squeezed many politicians, but perhaps none more so than McConnell, a strong White House ally. Some see the legislation as Bush's last hope for a major domestic achievement, and McConnell himself has repeatedly said an immigration revision is one of the "big things" a divided government can achieve.

But most Senate Republicans thus far have refused to embrace the bill. And some party strategists think voters in 2008 will reward those who oppose giving illegal immigrants lawful status.

McConnell is "not riding two horses, he's trying to decide which horse to ride," Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., a bill supporter, said in an interview. "He has a very difficult role, with the caucus so badly split. He has a duty to represent the caucus."

This is pretty infuriating: video of immigration lawyers explaining to employers how they can post fake job ads to technically satisfy the law's demand before hiring the cheaper foreign worker they always wanted. The lawyers state flat-out that employers can just look for reasons to disqualify American applicants, and go through the charade of staging an interview if they can't find anything disqualifying on the resume, before claiming the person just isn't a good fit. This, the video's maker notes, constitutes a "good faith" job search for an American worker under current law.

RWN runs down the inside story of where the bill is now-- it's about on the edge. A lot of Republicans are frightened (as they should be) of Reid's proposed clay pigeon strategy; if this manuever works, why shouldn't Reid use it on every bill?

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posted by Ace at 02:30 PM

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