White House Mulls How to Move Immigration Bill Through Congress
WASHINGTON, April 13 — The White House is fast at work recalibrating how best to use the power of the presidency to save immigration legislation from languishing for the rest of the year, eager for a victory in what has been a difficult political season for President Bush.Good luck with that!
Until late last week, Mr. Bush had, at least publicly, stayed to the side of the warring between factions of his party, and the Democrats, as the Senate hashed out a compromise between sealing the nation's borders and legalizing the illegal work force already here without granting what opponents could call "amnesty."
As a former governor of Texas, a border state that has seen the benefits and challenges of immigration, Mr. Bush has wanted to pursue an overhaul of immigration "since Day 1," said Charles Black, a Republican strategist and longtime associate of Mr. Bush and the Bush family.I don't want to live in Mexico! I won't beat around the President Bush on that point. I think it's become clear that the challenges of illegal immigraiton are outweighing the alleged benefits.
Mr. Bush's top political strategist, Karl Rove, had identified the immigration issue as an opportunity for the party to win Hispanic voters — an effort that seems to have been complicated by the House bill.
"Texas is a state that has benefited economically and culturally because of the close relationship between Texas and Mexico," said Ken Mehlman, the chairman of the Republican National Committee. "But he understands that border communities can be hurt if the law is not enforced."
Since the President could have enforced the border and the law at any point with no new laws required it is hard to take him seriously on anything other than amnesty, and on that one point I take him very seriously indeed!
White House officials have acknowledged that the administration erred in initially stressing guest worker provisions more than border enforcement, alarming conservative House members and stepping squarely into the abyss separating the moderates and conservatives of his party. That gave Mr. Bush all the more reason to stand back in recent weeks.You never get a second chance to make a first impression. By leading with a guest worker program the president made it perfectly clear where his heart lay and it wasn't with the American people.
In a statement Thursday night, Senator Edward M. Kennedy, the Massachusetts Democrat who helped to broker the Senate compromise, urged the president to take a more active role in the Senate debate when it resumes. But Senator John Cornyn, Republican of Texas, who opposed the measure, said the president should weigh in later.I feel I can't make this point enough, the President is on the same side as sweaty Teddy Kennedy on this. Teddy Kennedy, you remember him right? Big fella, lead the charge on the '65 immigration bill? Had a little something to do with every other amnesty that's been rammed down our necks for the last twenty years.
With more than a week to go before Congress reconvenes, however, the White House still has some time to plot it out.
Plot away proud and foolish representatives, I can only hope you pay a severe price for wantonly ignoring the will of the American people.
H/T Dan Stein Blog
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