Senate kills Grassley’s border-security amendment — with all four Republican “Gang of Eight” members in support

posted at 2:01 pm on June 13, 2013 by Allahpundit

Grassley’s amendment was dead on arrival in the Judiciary Committee and it was dead on arrival on the floor of the Senate today. Why? Because it did the one thing Republican border hawks Must Not Do as part of this grand, glorious compromise on immigration: It demanded that the border be effectively secured before any form of legalization, including first-stage probationary legalization, is granted to illegals. That would be a true enforcement “trigger” for amnesty, something that would warrant a second look at the bill. But of course, Democrats will never, ever agree to it; they have no more faith in DHS efficiently securing the border than you do, and thus there’s no way they’re going to make legalization contingent upon it. That’s why even Rubio, since the very beginning of this fiasco, has insisted that probationary legalization come before border security. The bill would be dead if he didn’t make that concession, and he’d rather have a terrible bill that betrays his phony promises of “security first” than have no bill at all.

That’s also why he, McCain, Graham, and Flake — the four GOP members of the Gang of Eight — all voted yes on Reid’s motion to table Grassley’s amendment, along with devout RINO Lisa Murkowski. They were the only Republican votes that Reid got, and as it turns out, he didn’t need a single one of them. A motion to table requires only 51 votes to pass and Reid had 52 Democrats on his side. The Republican “Gang” members conceivably could have voted no to try to show conservatives that they were striking a blow for tighter border security, even though they knew their votes would mean nothing and that Grassley’s amendment would fail anyway. They didn’t, because the Gang’s vowed to stick together on tough votes as a show of solidarity in the name of preserving the horrible “compromise” they’ve struck. They’re now past the point, it seems, of even making a pretense of border enforcement for the benefit of angry righties. There’s something to be said for honesty, I guess.

Reid’s move infuriated opponents of the bill, who said their right to keep talking while they worked to build a coalition for their proposal had been stripped away without fair warning.

“This so-called open and fair process is a farce,” the top Judiciary Committee Republican, Charles E. Grassley, called out just before the roll call. “This is a very provocative act.”…

For Reid, the power to call for tabling motions gives him additional leverage to move the debate along at a relatively brisk pace — and with solid odds of keeping the bill to his liking. He can make ideas he views as poison pills go away with 51 votes, while the other side will need 60 votes to add language viewed as killer amendments by the Obama administration, the gang of eight and the coalition of business and labor groups pushing the measure.

Rubio will, I’m guessing, defend his vote to table Grassley’s amendment in two ways. One: He’ll try to pander to conservatives by driving a hard bargain on other hot-button stuff to distract them from the fact that he caved on allowing legalization before border security. His last pander was to demand stricter English-language requirements for illegals; today’s pander is to threaten Democrats that he’ll walk away from the bill if Pat Leahy’s amendment granting rights to the spouses of gay illegals passes. The fact that he’s willing to make a lame, boutique issue like that a dealbreaker but not the fact that Democrats refuse to secure the border before granting illegals probationary legalization tells you exactly how seriously he’s taking this bill from a policy standpoint. It’s an insult to serious border hawks, but as DrewM says, it’ll help Rubio with social cons in Iowa in 2016. And that’s what really matters, Rubio’s endless pronouncements that he’s only doing this because it’s the “right thing to do” notwithstanding.

Two: He’ll end up either backing Cornyn’s amendment demanding tighter border security before the second stage of legalization (the green-card process) or, if Democrats give him a firm no on that, he’ll cave on that too and then try to put together an even weaker border amendment of his own as a substitute. Sounds like that’s what’s in motion now, with Rubio working on a compromise while our old friend McCain tries to kill Cornyn’s bill before it even gets rolling:

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) is beginning to speak out forcefully against the Cornyn language, bombarding the Texas Republican with critical comments from the Senate floor. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) is lobbying other Republicans on potential compromises. And Rubio, although he said Wednesday that the Cornyn plan “dramatically improves the bill,” is working on a package that others in the Gang of Eight hope could emerge as an alternative…

Rubio, in an interview with POLITICO this week, would not describe his work with Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) and others as an “alternative” to the Cornyn plan.

“We certainly have ideas, and we’re sharing them with people, but if others want to take the lead on securing the border, that’s good,” Rubio said. “We’re in a game of addition. … The border security elements of the bill will have to be improved. The only issue is what is going to do that.”

Cornyn’s bill is better than the status quo but see Mickey Kaus for why it too is basically a fudge on real border security, beginning with the fact that it signs on to the Gang’s “legalization before security” scheme rather than Grassley’s “security first” proposal. And so now we wait: Will Democrats cave, allowing Cornyn’s ineffective but salable-to-conservatives border amendment into the bill? Or will they muscle Rubio into quitting on Cornyn and offering something that’s even more watered down? The fate of … nothing, really, depends on the answer.

Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air



Trackback URL


You mean the same amnesty-supporting Rand Paul who said yesterday that if you’re an illegal, we’ll find a place for you?

While pandering to a pro-amnesty Hispanic group.

xblade on June 13, 2013 at 7:59 PM

This article brings to mind what Kevin DuJan over at Hillbuzz said about closeted R’s in the Congress.

“Look to see which R’s support Dems.”

avagreen on June 13, 2013 at 8:23 PM

You mean the same amnesty-supporting Rand Paul who said yesterday that if you’re an illegal, we’ll find a place for you?

While pandering to a pro-amnesty Hispanic group.
xblade on June 13, 2013 at 7:59 PM

Rand Paul cannot be trusted on this issue.

Ted Cruz is the one I support.

bluegill on June 13, 2013 at 8:40 PM

Rubio is backing Cornyn’s amendment which is actually reasonable and tough on border security. Grassley’s was never going to happen, he knew that well enough himself. I know that now that Rubio has failed to properly kiss butt for the hardliners he is going to be trashed no matter what he does…but he has tried for more border security and he has made it plain that no bill can pass the House without it. Needless to say the Democrats will probably not go for that and they might even throw in gay marriage just to make sure they kill the bill.

That way, the right and the left will get what they want. No bill, the status quo intact. Then they can go right on demagoguing the issue without ever actually having to do anything about it. It is like watching and old married couple having the same fight over and over again. You know how it will end. Every now and then someone tries to intervene and find a resolution only to have both people turn on them. They like the fight, they do not want it to end.

Terrye on June 13, 2013 at 9:17 PM

Chuck Grassley and Jeff Sessions are fighting for the citizens of this nation. They are models of what our senators should be doing and what they should strive to be. Immigration law was originally designed TO PROTECT THE RIGHTS OF THE CITIZENS OF THIS NATION and to PROTECT THE CITIZENRY FROM THE WANTON PREDATION OF ILLEGAL ALIENS…

… NOT to deal with the “plight” of those same ILLEGAL ALIENS… people who have willfully shattered our laws and demonstrated a clear disdain for the rights of the citizens of this nation as well as those millions of potential LEGAL IMMIGRANTS waiting in line around the world for the opportunity to come to this nation LEGALLY.

NO AMNESTY, no ‘legalization’ at all, until we have SECURE BORDERS.

Ask yourself this: if we can secure the borders of SOUTH KOREA why can’t we secure our own borders?

thatsafactjack on June 13, 2013 at 9:22 PM

The Rubio Amnesty Timeline

‘In 1986, Ronald Reagan granted amnesty to 3 million people. You know what happened… There were people trying to enter the country legally, who had done the paperwork, who were here legally, who were going through the process, who claimed, all of a sudden, ‘No, no, no, no. I’m illegal.’ Because it was easier to do the amnesty programme than it was to do the legal process.’

– Candidate Marco Rubio, 29 November 2009

‘If you grant amnesty, the message that you’re sending is that if you come in this country and stay here long enough, we will let you stay. And no one will ever come through the legal process if you do that.’

– Candidate Marco Rubio, 29 November 2009

‘He would have voted for the McCain plan. I think that plan is wrong, and the reason I think it’s wrong is that if you grant amnesty, as the governor proposes that we do, in any form, whether it’s back of the line or so forth, you will destroy any chance we will ever have of having a legal immigration system that works here in America.’

– Candidate Marco Rubio, 28 March 2010

‘Earned path to citizenship is basically code for amnesty.’

– Candidate Marco Rubio, 24 October 2010

‘We have to be the pro-legal immigration party. We have to be a party that advocates for a legal immigration system that’s good for Americans, good for America and honours our tradition both as a nation of immigrants and as a nation of law.’

– Senator Marco Rubio, 5 October 2011

‘But, at the same time, on the left there are those that are using this issue for pure politics creating unrealistic and unreasonable expectations among those in the Latino community across this country.

Figure out a way to accommodate them in a way that does not encourage illegal immigration in the future.’

– Senator Marco Rubio, 27 January 2012

‘We have to deal with the people that are here now in a way that’s responsible but humane, and this does that. This allows people the access to make their status at this moment legal.’

– Senator Marco Rubio, 28 January 2013

Resist We Much on June 13, 2013 at 9:58 PM

wow thanks for the timeline! whoever runs against rubio for the republican nomination… here’s your advertisement material!

Sachiko on June 13, 2013 at 11:09 PM

A classic example of someone who means well but ends up getting compromised by the corruption in OUR government in Washington. It’s extremely sad to witness.
It’s a mirror of the anti-drug time-lapse photography ad, run by the Ad-Council, of the sweet little girl who eventually turns into a crack-whore via police-arrest photos.
Yep! It’s that tragic.

shorebird on June 14, 2013 at 12:11 AM

Rubio might rehabilitate himself if he dropped out over the boutique gay issue. Let’s face it, that is a completely unnecessary poke in the eye for submissive conservatives.

Everyone who votes for this needs to be opposed regardless of party because they are inviting crime, dependency, voter fraud, unemployment and bankruptcy.

Don’t even talk about border enforcement: not going to happen.

This is the last thing the country needs right now.

virgo on June 14, 2013 at 1:56 AM

There are three major groups of Hispanics living in the United States

1 Puerto Ricans.Puerto Rico is a US territory, therefore Puerto Ricans can come and go into the United States as they wish without any restrictions.

2 Cubans. Cuban immigration into the United States is limited by both a water barrier and a restrictive communist government.

3 Mexicans. This leaves only Mexicans. Of course, among the illegals would be minorities of other Hispanics-not to mention some Middle Eastern and even Chinese terrorists and spies.

But what is called a “Hispanic problem” is really a “Mexican problem”. At the very best we are getting unskilled laborers-not only unskilled in the work force but in English language comprehension as well.This puts unbelievable economic pressure on our educational system. At the worst, we are getting drug dealers, career criminals, rapists, murderers,terrorists, cyber saboteurs, spies, psychopaths, mentally ill whackos and career welfare recipients. Unfortunately 11 million of these (some say the figure is closer to 30 million) are already in the country. To allow legalization , especially without first sealing our borders,would open the floodgates for at least 30 million more. The end of our country as we know it. What’s even more amazing is that the vast majority coming here DO NOT EVEN LIKE OUR COUNTRY!!! They display Mexican flags on Cinco de Mayo and believe Mexico owns California and Texas.They are “using” our country the way the US Ambassador to Belgium uses children.

We all know the Democrats are the scum of the earth for selling out their country for those most likely to vote for them but EVEN WORSE are back-biting Republican traitors such as Benedict Rubio —meekly submitting so he can get an approving pat on the head from his new mentor, Chuck Schumer.. Sounds like a rock group–Benedict Rubio and the Gang of Four.

MaiDee on June 14, 2013 at 4:36 AM

There are three major groups of Hispanics living in the United States

1 Puerto Ricans.Puerto Rico is a US territory, therefore Puerto Ricans can come and go into the United States as they wish without any restrictions.

2 Cubans. Cuban immigration into the United States is limited by both a water barrier and a restrictive communist government.

3 Mexicans. This leaves only Mexicans. Of course, among the illegals would be minorities of other Hispanics-not to mention some Middle Eastern and even Chinese terrorists and spies.

MaiDee on June 14, 2013 at 4:36 AM

Hahahaha, what an ignorant idiot. Lets ignore the Dominicans, Guatemalans, El Salvadoreans, Chileans, Venezuelans and on and on. Oh guys, did you know that all of Central and South America is “Mexico” and those people are all Mexicans? Please, please, please tell me you’re either senile or too young to read a map.

libfreeordie on June 14, 2013 at 5:32 AM


When you had your lobotomy they should have told you to leave at least half the brain–not take out the whole thing. I said MAJOR groups–and I also said “of course, among the illegals would be minorities of other Hispanics..” which would include the people you describe plus Colombians, Paraguayans, Bolivians etal. But these minorities are not significant statistically-at least not yet.

Do try keeping away from tall cliffs and sharp objects. That’s a good boy! Vete para el carajo!

MaiDee on June 14, 2013 at 5:54 AM

Man, every day somtehing new happens that just burns my backside. Is there any doubt we need to enact term limits to eliminate the permanent political class? It’s not a career, clowns. Go do some honest work for a change.

As much as I loathe them, I do have to give credit to the socialists for their message/party discipline. 52 votes in the bank without a question, yet we quibble over minutae and form circular firing squads.

Perhaps when we get real true-believer conservatives who actually believe in conservative principles, we will have the same fortitude. Alas, all we get are squishy, namby-pamby democrat-lite RINO’s that only want to please and be popular.Sigh.

Huckabye-Romney on June 14, 2013 at 9:07 AM

Apparently the welfare of 11 million illegals matters more to this POS gang of eight than the safety of 300 million American citizens.Rubio’s constant lying makes ne sick.How much money is he getting out of this to grease his palms or to bring back to Florida to secure his re-election?

redware on June 14, 2013 at 3:34 PM