Top Links: Senate debate on immigration reform exposes GOP rifts on every 2014-sized issue

Updated
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, claims to be the way, the truth and the conduit for any successful immigration reform bill to pass.
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, claims to be the way, the truth and the conduit for any successful immigration reform bill to pass.
AP Photo/Reed Saxon

Top Story: Expect a vote to send the immigration reform bill to debate later today — and with it, arguments over every major political issue, from border security to John Boehner’s ability as a leader.

  • Already, reformers picked up another Republican senator over the weekend. That’s the good news. (Kelly Ayotte)
  • Now the bad news: Sen. Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, says he is the “conduit” through which immigration reform must pass – “They are going to have to come to me and they’re going to have to work to make the bill stronger if they want me to vote for it” — which is as odd a reading of John 14:6 as we’ve ever heard. (Reuters)
  • Not to be outdone, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, says immigration will fail. The reason? Because President Obama wants it to, silly. (Yahoo! News)
  • And because Obama wants it to fail, Ted Cruz must stop him. How? Possibly via the filibuster, which will surely cause the bill to fail. Confused? So are we. But perhaps Cruz’s objection is that he doesn’t like people honing in on his territory. (Jeff Zeleny)
  • The 501(c)4, political arm of the Heritage Foundation – Jim DeMint’s “think” tank in name only – also wants senators to vote “no.” (Chad Pergram)
  • Anti-reformists also are trying to kill the bill with poison bill amendments. But the Senate’s Democratic majority leader won’t have it. (Plum Line)
  • Also, to the anti-reformists who argue the bill isn’t tough on border security: Tell that to the defense contractors lining up for a slice of the $4.5 billion the bill mandates be spent over five years. (The New York Times)
  • Interestingly, the immigration debate touches every major debate between Democrats and Republicans – Health care, gun control and gay rights (Mother Jones)
  • Of course, it’s not just policy but language with which conservatives have a beef: “assimilation”, not “integration”, they say. (Politico)
  • Oh, and all this talk is just about getting the bill out of the Senate. There is still the nightmare of the rudderless GOP-controlled House. Boehner hopes to have an immigration vote before the month-long August recess. Whether it’s one Democrats can sign off on is unknown. (First Read)

Top Links: Senate debate on immigration reform exposes GOP rifts on every 2014-sized issue

Updated