Each of Cruz’s amendments was entirely defensible, but also entirely impossible in today’s climate. The Gang of Eight bill is a painstakingly-crafted proposal which Democrats would abandon immediately if any of Cruz’s ideas were incorporated in it. Schumer and his allies have a long list of deal-killers, and it includes every single one of Ted Cruz’s ideas.
But what if Cruz had somehow magically gotten his way? What if his amendments were all approved, and no other changes were made that made the bill unacceptable? If that happened, would Cruz vote for comprehensive immigration reform?
That was the question I stupidly failed to ask at the end of our conversation. Kicking myself, I sent a note to a Cruz aide a short time later, asking that he check with the senator. After consulting with Cruz, the aide sent this response: “It’s hypothetical, because the Gang of Eight members have made clear they will not substantively amend the bill in order to preserve its ‘delicate balance.’ The senator’s concerns with the current bill remain, and he’ll continue to try to improve it so it secures the border, improves legal immigration, and upholds the rule of law.”