One Democratic Senator, and one Republican, both said on Sunday talk shows that an immigration bill will pass from the Senate floor to the House with 70 votes. Then the fate of 11 million people will be decided by 435 men and women in the House of Representatives.
Senator Lindsay Graham, Republican from South Carolina, is a member of the ‘gang of eight,’ who wrote the legislation. He is confident that it will pass through the Senate with 70 votes.
“I think we’re on the verge of getting 70 votes … We’re very, very close to getting 70 votes,” Graham said on “Fox News Sunday.”
The South Carolina senator said the bill, which includes a “border surge” plan. would offer sufficient southern border security, saying “We have secured our border in a way I could not have imagined 4 or 5 years ago.”
The bill could see passage by the end of the week, but it faces a severe challenge in the Republican controlled House.
Graham is urging its approval, citing the Hispanic vote in 2012.
“If it fails and we are blamed for its failure, we’re in trouble as a party,” he said. “We need to grow this party.”
The GOP needs their votes, and it may depend on the fate of 11 million people, decided by the House.
Senator Chuck Schumer, Democrat from New York, echoed Graham’s concern about the House obstinacy. He said this is a ‘new civil rights movement.’
“This has the potential of becoming the next major civil rights movement. I could envision in the late summer or early fall if Boehner tries to bottle the bill up or put something in without a path to citizenship, if there’s no path to citizenship, there’s not a bill, but if he tries to bottle it up or do things like that, I could see a million people on the Mall in Washington,” Schumer said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
Schumer said he has counted 67 affirmative votes in the Senate, but the total could reach 70.
“I do believe that having a significant number of Republicans will change the dynamic in the House. Individual Congress members from red districts, if they see their senators voted for it and they decide to do the right thing, there will be huge pressure on Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, not to block immigration reform,” said Schumer.
Schumer believes that increasing pressure over the summer will force Boehner to bring a bill to the floor, even if only half or less of the Republican members approve it.
I applaud the optimism of both Senators, but I doubt that the divided House can unite to support any form of immigration. There are too many extremists on the Republican side who have promised to stop any form of comprehensive immigration.
John Boehner has proven himself an unfit Speaker. He has no leadership qualities, and continually fails to unite his own party. Is there any hope that he can bring them and the House Democrats to any form of agreement on anything? As I have watched him for four-and-a-half years, I doubt he could get them to agree on which toppings they want on a pizza.
It appears certain that the fate of 11 million men, women, and children, will be decided by 435 men and women. I don’t like the odds.
The Guardian Express