10:59 . . .
by Jen Green
It’s almost the 11th hour on two very big votes in our Congress, and the Republican party is a mess.
Meaning, it’s another day that ends in “y.”
Republicans Split on Immigration
The biggest news that didn’t involve Tiger Woods this weekend were the upcoming Senate battles on both guns and immigration.
As promised, Florida’s Marco Rubio made the rounds on all the Sunday shows, defending the Gang of Eight’s proposal against attacks and concerns from conservatives. On Fox News Rubio said, “anybody living illegally in the United States and attempting to get a visa would face a long list of qualifications, which includes paying taxes, a fine and an application fee as well as having a job and waiting for at least 10 years. ‘That is not amnesty. Amnesty is the forgiveness of something.’”
Rubio’s problem, though, is some of the most trusted conservatives from his own party are the ones questioning his plan. Ted Cruz is against it. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) is against it. Mike Lee is against it.
Sessions, like others, says the Gang’s plan puts the process in the wrong order. He said this weekend, “I know Sen. Rubio’s heart is exactly right. And I really respect the work of the ‘Gang of Eight.’ But they have produced legislation … that will give amnesty now, legalize everyone that’s here effectively today and then there’s a promise of enforcement in the future.”
So, if you’re keeping score–so far we’ve got the likes John McCain and Chuck Schumer vs. Ted Cruz and Mike Lee. . . and Marco Rubio is siding with the former, not the latter.
One of these things is not like the other.
Now reports coming out say the bill is 1,000 pages long and will drop with no time to study it in its entirety before it’s voted on by the Senate.
Frankly, I don’t see any scenario that ends well for Marco Rubio and his continued political future.
Republican Split on Guns
The other hot topic is guns and 2nd amendment rights. We talked long and hard about Pennsylvania Senator Pat Toomey’s absolute betrayal on this issue on our show last week. Now, a gun group claiming to be 2nd only to the NRA in size is siding with Toomey and Manchin.
If you’re a member of that group, I’d suggest you find a better use of your money. Like put it toward colonizing Mars.
Last week we had enough Republicans to vote against cloture so the gun filibuster threatened by Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, and others could not happen. Now, we wait to see if enough of those same Republicans are secure enough in their seats that they think they can survive a vote against the 2nd amendment. It won’t look very good for them if they do–since the guys against them are the current rock stars of (what’s left) of conservatism: Mike Lee, Rand Paul, and Ted Cruz. Lee made the rounds of Sunday shows this weekend arguing that “today’s carve outs are tomorrow’s loopholes.”
They need to hear from you crazy, jacked up wing nuts who actually believe in the Constitution and stuff. You know, those of us still bitterly clinging to our guns and Bibles. I know Senator Grassley’s gonna be hearing from me, especially since he’s been downright squishy on this issue of late.
No Santorum in Iowa Today
Two Iowa-based organizations are without their keynote speakers today. Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum was to speak at a lunch and a dinner here in our home state today but is unable to travel after he was hospitalized over the weekend in South Carolina.
We hope the Senator is feeling better soon. Considering he’s already gone on the record that he is “not ruling out a 2016 run,” I’m sure folks in Iowa will be seeing him again soon.