Summit: Rubio, Paul, Lee to huddle with House conservatives on immigration next week

posted at 6:01 pm on May 31, 2013 by Allahpundit

The details are vague, but given that Lee’s been skeptical of the Gang of Eight bill and Paul has been scrupulously noncommittal, you can guess whose job it’ll be to sell the bill and its phony border-enforcement requirements to the House.

I’ve written more than once that I don’t think Rubio will be hurt much by his immigration role come 2016, partly because of his shrewd, persistent charm offensive with conservative opinion leaders and partly because he’s been careful lately to criticize the bill himself. We’re getting to crunch time now, though, with the bill set to hit the Senate floor this month. Time to decide whether to stand behind it, warts and all, even as grassroots righties start to focus on its deficiencies, or to reposition himself as an ally of the House in trying to make it more conservative.

Maybe that’s what this meeting is really about — not so much Rubio as Senate envoy to the House but Rubio as budding House envoy to the Senate.

Wednesday’s forum represents the first significant bicameral discussion on the divisive subject of immigration reform. The event, which will be moderated by RSC Chairman Steve Scalise, will include commentary from three RSC members playing pivotal roles in the policy process: Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., who chairs the House Judiciary Committee; Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., who chairs the House Immigration Subcommittee; and Rep. Raul Labrador, R-Idaho, viewed as the leading voice on immigration matters among House conservatives…

The three confirmed Senate attendees, all of whom rode tea party support to 2010 victories, represent diverse viewpoints on the issue of immigration reform. Rubio, the most high-profile member of the Senate “Gang of Eight,” has been attempting to assuage conservative fears about providing citizenship to millions of illegal immigrants without first installing border security triggers. Paul is seen as a critical swing vote on the Gang of Eight bill, having spoken favorably about the idea of eventually legalizing those who are living in the U.S. illegally — as long as they aren’t given preferential status over those who have been waiting in line. Lee, who was once involved in the Gang of Eight talks, eventually defected and later voted against the group’s proposal, citing his opposition to a pathway to citizenship and special treatment for agricultural workers…

While House conservatives have yet to see any legislative language from their chamber, Wednesday’s forum will expose them to an intensive lobbying effort from like-minded conservatives who will come to argue different sides of the same case. In that sense, Wednesday’s event is shaping up like a court proceeding, with Rubio defending the Gang of Eight proposal, Lee prosecuting it, and Paul serving as the star witness.

The Senate’s amnesty supporters want 70 votes in favor of the Gang’s bill rather than 60 in order to put bipartisan pressure on the House to pass it. Grassroots amnesty backers don’t like that idea, though, because they fear (probably correctly) that to pick up 10 extra Senate Republicans the bill will have to be made more conservative, which, heaven forbid, might mean adding real border-security provisions. Why strain hard to get those votes when they’re not sure yet that even a revised bill can pass the House? The only way to convince Senate fencesitters to take a very tough vote in favor is to give them some confidence that that vote will mean something, i.e. that whatever the Senate passes stands a chance of being accepted, in large part, in the other chamber. You don’t get to 218 in the House by first getting to 70 in the Senate, in other words, you get to 218 first and then use that as an incentive to shake loose the votes you need to get to 70. That’s probably Rubio’s mission in all this — do his level best to sell House conservatives on making the final bill as liberal and pro-amnesty as the Gang desires, and then come back to the Senate with the House’s list of bare-minimum demands for changes. He’s always been the chief broker for immigration reform. He’s just making that role more explicit now.

Even so, his calculated hedging lately in publicly criticizing the bill is making some amnesty shills nervous:

Frank Sharry, head of the immigration advocacy group America’s Voice, said Rubio’s comments made him “anxious” and cautioned that the lawmaker must avoid taking his message too far.

“Rubio is uniquely qualified to talk to conservatives about immigration reform,” Sharry said. “On the other hand, if he thinks now that he’s the face of immigration reform, that he’s going to drive this bill in a direction that makes it less palatable for the progressive coalition that created the political space for reform, it’s going to be a huge problem.”…

David Leopold, general counsel for the American Immigration Lawyers Association, which supports immigration reform, said Rubio was “pushing the envelope.”

“Rubio needs to back up this bill,” Leopold said. “To offer a bill, to sit down and roll up your sleeves and write a bill with Democrats – I’m not going to discount that that took guts – but in that same vein, he needs to go into his caucus and sell this bill as a champion and not as a critic.”

Watching Rubio demand changes to the bill reminds me a little of Obama lamenting during his drone speech last week that the United States had been reduced to force-feeding hunger-striking Gitmo detainees. (“Is this who we are?”) That’s classic Obama, as John Podhoretz noted the next day: It’s his policy, but rather than own it and take the heat for it, President Above the Fray prefers to distance himself from it with criticism while quietly keeping the policy intact. He gets the result he wants plus some cheap respect from his base for seeming kinda sorta opposed to it deep down in his heart. Rubio, who’s been compared to Obama in endless ways, is following a similar playbook here. It’s his immigration bill — but clearly it needs to be changed and he’s darned angry about the border provisions that he spent months defending, etc etc. Just think how disappointed in the bill he’ll sound in his final floor speech before he votes for it.


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Comment pages: 1 2

Ann Coulter is for amnesty, the scumhag.

Schadenfreude on May 31, 2013 at 6:05 PM

She used to heart Chris Christy. Stick a fork in her boney asssp. She’s not a conservative.

stenwin77 on June 1, 2013 at 8:12 AM

Here in Tucson they are running ads (sponsored by some group with “conservative” in the name) touting that Rubio and Ryan have a plan that “secures the border, doesn’t grant amnesty, forces those who are here illegally to go to the back of the line, and does not allow welfare for those here illegally, ever”.

AZfederalist on May 31, 2013 at 7:26 PM

Mark Zuckerberg (the guy who “invented” Facebook by stealing the idea and layout for a social website from some Harvard classmates who had hired him to write computer code for the website they were developing), an Obama voter/supporter, is financing a pro-amnesty group with “conservative” in the title. It may be his commercials you’ve heard. The liars and thieves in the Democratic party are pulling out all the stops to get this POS amnesty bill passed.

I particularly like the lies about how illegals won’t get welfare. There are already federal laws on the books that prohibit illegals from receiving taxpayer-funded benefits like food stamps, but the Obama administration blatantly ignores those laws, and millions of illegals currently — and openly — receive food stamps. Illegals also receive many other types of welfare that are supposed to be for citizens and legal residents only, because federal agencies are not allowed to ask for or verify applicants’ citizenship status.

Further, the “gang of 8″ amnesty bill only prohibits illegals (on paper) from receiving welfare benefits for the first 10 years. After that, the millions of amnestied illegals (and their millions of chain-migrating family members) are eligible for all the “free” stuff taxpayers provide to low-income citizens.

And coincidentally (wink, wink), when the CBO performs its “independent, unbiased” analysis on the economic impact of the “gang of 8′s” amnesty bill, to verify that the amnesty bill will be “deficit neutral,” the CBO only analyzes the bill for the . . . the first 10 years. (Amazing how that worked out, eh? Almost like they planned it that way . . . .)

AZCoyote on June 1, 2013 at 8:29 AM

Don’t forget

http://www.americansforaconservativedirection.com/

which is blanketing conservative talk radio in our area with pro immigration ads. A lot of big money behind this Bushite propaganda effort.

http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2013/05/07/Republican-group-Facebook-immigration-bill

Joel Kaplan was the White House Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy for U.S. President George W. Bush. He is currently vice president of public policy at Facebook. He was an active conservative Democrat during the early 1990s.

Viator on June 1, 2013 at 9:12 AM

Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook has assembled some of Silicon Valley’s wealthiest figures including liberals Bill Gates of Microsoft and Eric Schmidt of Google to fund propaganda groups FWD.US and Americans for a Conservative Direction to advance the cause of a large scale rewrite of U.S. immigration policy.

http://www.alipac.us/f12/mark-levin-exposes-liberal-front-group-americans-conservative-direction-277982/

Viator on June 1, 2013 at 9:14 AM

Rubio signing on anything Chuckie Schumer is sponsoring is a sure sign that he has been duped. Schumer’s middle initial is ‘E’ it stands for EVIL.

Dasher on June 1, 2013 at 9:19 AM

I oppose the 8 Gangsters. They belong in prison.

Why aren’t they?

Did you know that the United States has fallen to nearly last place in world manufacture of license plates? Adding Rubio and the other members of the 8 Gangsters syndicate to the license-plate production workforce of virtually any north-of-the-unsecured-border prison would prove a dramatic first step in bringing U.S. license-plate production out of the shadows and on a path to international leadership in this vital sector of the global economy.

FlameWarrior on June 1, 2013 at 1:49 PM

Rubio MUST be primaried when he runs for reelection. He will not win reelection in Fla. if conservatives do not support and vote for him. The folks in Fl. are not really fond of him. We must make sure he does not get any traction in the 2016 POTUS Pub. primary. He is a RINO suck up dumb ass. These turncoat RINOS must be voted out of office. If we can’t defeat them in primaries, we need to vote for their dem. opponents to punish them and the future RINO wannabes will get the message. To hell with them all.

they lie on June 1, 2013 at 2:42 PM

These turncoat RINOS must be voted out of office. If we can’t defeat them in primaries, we need to vote for their dem. opponents to punish them and the future RINO wannabes will get the message. To hell with them all.

they lie on June 1, 2013 at 2:42 PM

Go ahead. Poke your eye out to spite your face.

unclesmrgol on June 1, 2013 at 3:08 PM

Ann Coulter is for amnesty, the scumhag.

Schadenfreude on May 31, 2013 at 6:05 PM

I don’t think Ann is for amnesty .
I did a quick search and I can’t see where she is for it .
Could be wrong as I haven’t seen her talking on the
subject .
What did I miss ?

Lucano on June 1, 2013 at 3:09 PM

I say we give Lee and Paul a one-minute running head start, and if they get out, they’re free.

Then we hang Rubio by the thumbs.

Then we go to dinner, and be sure not to skip dessert, after-dinner drinks, and cigars.

Adjoran on June 1, 2013 at 4:05 PM

The Republican leadership believes “Immigration reform” is their chance to ‘win like Obama’.

The GOP’s (accurate) take on Obama’s electoral wins is that the most significant change wrought by him is in the American political process. And that change is reflected in the GOP’s new-found belief that getting elected in America now means pandering to the govt-dependent classes (underclass and public employees) – not the middle-class as has been the rule.

So, immigration reform is all about gaining and keeping power and all the “border security” talk is just a shiny-object to keep the rubes occupied and arguing amongst themselves while the bill is crammed down their throats (border security language in the bill is designed to be gutted by the courts in addition to being ignored by the Congress/Executive as usual). The GOP strategy has two parts:

First, pander like Democrats on steroids:
1) Promise PC activists that “immigration reform” will funnel a lot of “free!” (tax-payer-provided) money and benefit-stuff to them and their well-controlled, low-info-voters; 2) And that the GOP will wield the vast power of government in their favor against the “other” to achieve “social justice”, “equality” and other PC-buzzwords.

Second, radically expand the dependent-class:
1) Work with the Democrats to shrink the middle class using the “Obama Doctrine”: Employ the power of government to ‘create and save’ an impotent, volatile economy that squeezes more American citizens out of the middle-class every day.
2) Convert tens of millions of citizens of other nations into more than enough government-dependent votes to assure the ruling class has the all the power and the ultimate control they lust after.

Voila! Within a few political cycles, they who pander and promise the most government largesse, wins. Forever… If the words “not sustainable” comes to mind, you are correct, but it doesn’t matter. However, If the words “elected tyranny” come to mind, you are paying attention.

DrDeano on June 1, 2013 at 4:38 PM

Rubio MUST be primaried when he runs for reelection. He will not win reelection in Fla. if conservatives do not support and vote for him. The folks in Fl. are not really fond of him. We must make sure he does not get any traction in the 2016 POTUS Pub. primary. He is a RINO suck up dumb ass. These turncoat RINOS must be voted out of office. If we can’t defeat them in primaries, we need to vote for their dem. opponents to punish them and the future RINO wannabes will get the message. To hell with them all.

they lie on June 1, 2013 at 2:42 PM

Absolutely. These people must not win reelection or Republicans will continue to get politicians who say one thing in the primary knowing they can switch positions later without any consequences.

Wigglesworth on June 1, 2013 at 5:46 PM

And coincidentally (wink, wink), when the CBO performs its “independent, unbiased” analysis on the economic impact of the “gang of 8′s” amnesty bill, to verify that the amnesty bill will be “deficit neutral,” the CBO only analyzes the bill for the . . . the first 10 years. (Amazing how that worked out, eh? Almost like they planned it that way . . . .)

AZCoyote on June 1, 2013 at 8:29 AM

I’m sure that fake CBO score will be released just before it’s time for the senators to cast their vote. They should have learned their lesson from the CBO score on Obamacare.

Wigglesworth on June 1, 2013 at 5:49 PM

Go ahead. Poke your eye out to spite your face.

unclesmrgol

Because liberal policies passed by republicans is a good thing. No thanks, amnesty shill.

xblade on June 1, 2013 at 6:11 PM

I’m sure that fake CBO score will be released just before it’s time for the senators to cast their vote. They should have learned their lesson from the CBO score on Obamacare.

Wigglesworth

They know the CBO score will be bogus. They’re hoping the rest of us don’t know.

xblade on June 1, 2013 at 6:15 PM

Go ahead. Poke your eye out to spite your face.

unclesmrgol

Because liberal policies passed by republicans is a good thing. No thanks, amnesty shill.

xblade on June 1, 2013 at 6:11 PM

Yes, according to unclesmrogol, America is evil and deserves to be turned into a third-world hell-hole in order to stroke his own Pharisaical sense of “religious” superiority.

He’s a real charmer.

ebrown2 on June 1, 2013 at 6:16 PM

I hope the House Republicans realize that this will be Rubio selling Chuck Schumer’s plan to bring into the United States tens of millions of new Democrat voters and that they will then act appropriately and kill the amnesty.

RJL on June 1, 2013 at 7:23 PM

RUCK FUBIO.

Nutstuyu on June 1, 2013 at 7:26 PM

These turncoat RINOS must be voted out of office. If we can’t defeat them in primaries, we need to vote for their dem. opponents to punish them and the future RINO wannabes will get the message. To hell with them all.

they lie on June 1, 2013 at 2:42 PM

Go ahead. Poke your eye out to spite your face.

unclesmrgol on June 1, 2013 at 3:08 PM

No we’ll poke out your eye, just for fun– and then claim Allah made us do it.

Nutstuyu on June 1, 2013 at 7:30 PM

Rubio is a traitor.

bluegill on June 2, 2013 at 2:50 AM

I’ve written more than once that I don’t think Rubio will be hurt much by his immigration role come 2016, partly because of his shrewd, persistent charm offensive with conservative opinion leaders and partly because he’s been careful lately to criticize the bill himself.

I disagree. Rubio’s stance on illegal immigration isn’t even noble given the bill’s content. He’s burned a substantial amount of bridges trying to “sell” a bill that contains many of the same clauses, paths and costs Mr. Rubio said it would not. In the process, he’s caused considerable doubts with former supporters such as me.

Ultimately, Mr. Rubio has shown himself to be either ill-informed,naive disingenuous or duplicitous. Those “qualities”, will manifest themselves in doubts and not play well with voters who by the next election will be tired of the political games.

Frankly, I believe this aptly displays why a very small number of senators are able to become president. The record of their votes sets the campaign narrative. Well, that is unless you are Barack Obama, then the press willfully ignores and obscures it.

Marcus Traianus on June 2, 2013 at 8:05 AM

Rubio is a traitor.

bluegill on June 2, 2013 at 2:50 AM

And at the absolute worst time for the GOP.

One more amnesty and the ballot box is TOTALLY ineffective against the Free Stuff Party instead of MOSTLY ineffective. Then we’re down to the last option that honestly I don’t see Americans using.

MelonCollie on June 2, 2013 at 5:37 PM

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