John Cornyn, R-Texas, is the Senate minority whip and is facing reelection in 2014. While political handicappers rate his prospects at winning another term favorably, Cornyn doesn’t want to face the nuisance of a primary challenge for supporting an immigration-reform bill. At the same time, the growing number of Latino voters in Texas makes immigration reform less of a clear-cut issue than it once was. At this week’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, Cornyn diplomatically praised the gang’s work, but criticized the bill’s approach to border security, arguing that the legislation would shift resources from some patrol sectors in Texas. He’s also worried that “thousands of lawsuits” could frustrate the implementation of the bill, a concern he added in a coda to his opening remarks at the committee hearing this week. Cornyn says he’s open to a debate over the issues, but what will be worth watching is whether Rubio can convert his openness into a bill that Cornyn clearly sees as flawed. …

Rand Paul, R-Ky., as NBC News observed, could be positioning himself to the right of Rubio, who helped craft the gang’s plan, even though he’s come out in favor of some immigration reform. Both Paul and Rubio are potential 2016 GOP presidential contenders. Paul, who earlier this year delivered an address calling for reform, is now pulling back because of the Boston attacks. In a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., Paul showed flashes of caution. “We should not proceed until we understand the specific failure of our immigration system,” he said, according to The Washington Post. His support or opposition could prove pivotal. …

Tim Scott, R-S.C., is wrestling with which path to choose: that of his hard-line conservative predecessor Jim DeMint, whose seat Scott inherited when DeMint left to head up the Heritage Foundation, or that of his current colleague Lindsey Graham, who helped write the gang’s bill, and who put the world on notice this week when he said, “I’m going to fight for this bill. If you’ve got a better idea, bring it on,” according to NBC News.