A Big Day For Immigration Reform

Andrew Sullivan —  Jun 11 2013 @ 12:18pm

First Read previews today’s vote:

This afternoon, the full U.S. Senate holds its first vote on the bipartisan immigration legislation, which seeks to bolster border security and establish a pathway to citizenship for the nation’s millions of undocumented immigrants. This vote on the motion to proceed requires 60 votes, and it’s expected to cross that threshold. But the question is whether there are potentially as many as 70 senators who support the final legislation, which would give the legislation lots of momentum, putting pressure on the GOP-controlled House of Representatives to take up the Senate version. Today’s vote COULD give us a hint. A reminder: This is just the first full Senate vote; the vote for final passage won’t take place until before the July 4 holiday.

Brett LoGiurato passes along a good sign regarding the bill’s chances in the House:

In an interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulous that aired Tuesday morning, House Speaker John Boehner hinted that he would clear a significant hurdle to immigration reform passing through the House of Representatives. During the interview, Stephanopoulous asked Boehner if he would let the bill in the House come to a vote, even if it means he has to break the so-called “Hastert Rule” — meaning that he would let it come to the floor even if he wasn’t sure it would have support form a majority of Republicans.

Chait is optimistic:

There is no doubt that conservatives will revolt against the bill. The major question is whether John Boehner really wants to kill reform, whether he wants to cast a symbolic vote against reform while letting Democrats pass it for him, or whether conservative opponents will force him to keep a bill from coming up. The back-from-the-brink signals sent out by Establishment Republicans suggest Boehner and the party’s Establishment don’t want to kill it.

Allahpundit is unhappy about Rubio’s refusal to “demand border security before legalization”:

I think he’s calculating, unfortunately quite rationally, that conservatives are far more likely to forgive him for selling out their core interest in the name of winning over Latinos than general-election voters are if he becomes known as The Man Who Killed Reform. So he’ll give the Dems “legalization first” and focus instead on making the border security in step two as tight as he can. That’s the best way to balance general-election voters and Republican primary voters. It’s also why, I assume, Rubio would never agree to Mickey Kaus’s idea to give up on a big comprehensive bill and start small with a confidence-building compromise that would institute E-Verify in exchange for DREAM amnesty for younger illegals. Anything short of a big bill at this point will be used against him by Democrats eager to frame him as in thrall to conservatives and therefore “too radical” to get things done in Washington as president. For Rubio it’s comprehensive reform or bust, even if that means selling out on the key legalization provision.

Pareene also examines Rubio’s predicament:

The calculation now, for Rubio, is a bit complicated. If it looks like something close to the Senate bill can pass the House with Republican support, Rubio is no longer the sole conservative responsible for it happening. He escapes blame. If the Senate bill passes with Rubio’s support and then Boehner decides to get the bill through the House with Democratic votes, Rubio will be branded a traitor to the conservative cause for the rest of eternity. If it passes the Senate and dies in the House, Rubio stuck his neck out for nothing.