Immigration’s Communications Conundrum

Penny for your thoughts.

Photographer: Alex Wong/Getty Images

What's going to happen in the Senate on immigration? As per his promise in January, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is bringing the issue to the Senate floor this week. The plan is to let every plan come to the floor, and whatever can get 60 votes will become the Senate bill. 

Al Hunt on Immigration, Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell

Veteran Democratic Hill staffer Adam Jentleson speculates that McConnell's play is to work hard to keep Republicans from supporting any bill that has a chance at bipartisan support, then blame Democrats for sinking the bill when they vote against President Donald Trump's proposal, which would severely diminish legal immigration. If so, Republicans will get a harvest of votes to hold against vulnerable Democratic senators in November; Republicans can, I suppose, continue their far-fetched claim that it was the Democrats who betrayed the Dreamers; and McConnell can claim to have fulfilled his promise. Democrats would still have the option of filibustering against the full-year appropriations bill when the current temporary measure expires in March, but given that they would have demonstrated they don't have the votes to pass anything, Democrats would find it extremely difficult to sustain a filibuster to close the government. 

That's a plausible strategy.


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