After months of gang-building and deliberation over border security and a path to citizenship, this week, the push for comprehensive immigration reform has entered what The New York Times calls its “most crucial phase” in the Senate.
Over the weekend, President Obama urged Congress to send him a comprehensive immigration bill by the end of the summer, but before anything reaches his desk, there must first be a battle on Capitol Hill.
The Senate is expected to continue floor debate on the immigration bill Tuesday and Wednesday afternoon. Although its chances of passage in the Senate are promising, Republicans are once again divided. This weekend, New Hampshire Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte gave the bill a big endorsement. This came only days after her colleagues, Senators Jeff Sessions of Alabama and Mike Lee of Utah reiterated their opposition to the Gang of Eight’s bill on the Senate floor.
The situation doesn’t appear much better in the House. Within the past week, the GOP’s point-man for immigration reform, Rep. Raul Labrador of Idaho, walked away from negotiations, and House Republicans voted to approve an amendment that would block the implementation of President Obama’s order to stop the deportation of young immigrants who came here as children, otherwise known as DREAMers.
According to POLITICO, House Speaker John Boehner has a plan for immigration, but given how Boehner has fared in the past in dealing with his unpredictable Republican caucus, what ultimately happens to immigration reform is anyone’s guess.
On Monday, former Governor Tim Pawlenty joined the NOW with Alex Wagner panel to discuss the bill’s fortunes and how the future of the GOP will be affected by the fate of the legislation.