It looks like Mitch McConnell’s pass from Chuck Schumer to publicly remain silent on the amnesty bill has expired.
While McConnell has come out of the witness protection program to attack the ‘low-hanging fruit’ IRS scandal with alacrity, he has remained silent on the most profound threat to our Republic – the Schumer immigration reform bill. How can the sitting GOP leader remain silent on a bill that will compound the mistakes he voted for in 1986 and create a permanent Democrat majority? How can the top Republican in the Senate remain insouciant toward the Obamacare-style discretion that is afforded to DHS in a way that will make future deportations almost impossible? How can a self-described conservative be indiffernet to a bill that will chart a pathway to welfare benefits for millions of low-skilled illegal and legal immigrants within just a few years?
Well, it’s quite simple. Chuck Schumer is the defacto GOP leader in the Senate. All he has to do is craft legislation, and Republicans will ask how many votes he needs.
Earlier today, McConnell told The Hill’s Alex Bolton that he will support the motion to proceed with debate on the amnesty bill, noting that “the status quo is not good.”
So even as the Senate Judiciary Committee votes to allow criminal aliens to receive amnesty and for them to collect billions in refundable tax credits McConnell is OK with it.
So even as Obama is embroiled in the worst scandals of his administration, McConnell plans to bail him out with his second biggest legacy victory.
So he praises the Gang of 8 without mentioning one concern from the dozens of problems in the bill?
Mitch McConnell voted for the 1986 amnesty bill. Seldom do lawmakers have the opportunity to rectify the same mistakes in such a dramatic way. Instead he is opting to roll over and genuflect before The Schumercare Democrat Voting Act of 2013. This is endemic of McConnell’s approach to follow from behind instead of lead from the front. He knows that Democrats have the votes to strike down all GOP amendments to put real enforcement triggers in the bill. They have already done that on a committee level. Once the debate proceeds, there is no way to stop the runaway train. Failing to filibuster it now is nothing but a rubber stamp on the bill. And despite McConnell’s carefully choreographed statements, that is exactly what he wants.
If we've learned any lesson from the gun debate it is that you need a filibuster early on to test vote the Senate and bring all of the cowardly members out of the shadows on the issue. In the case of the gun debate, once those who voted for cloture were documented, they heard the wrath of their constituents and backed off. Schumer would love to dive straight into this bill before the unwashed masses begin paying attention. Opposing a filibuster and praising the bill early on is tantamount to full support of the bill.
McConnell praised the gang’s work noting that “the Gang of Eight has made a substantial contribution to moving the issue forward. So far, I’m told that the Judiciary Committee has not in any fundamental way undone the agreement reached by the eight senators so I’m hopeful we’ll be able to get a bill we can pass here in the Senate.”
Evidently, he thinks the fact that the committee has kept the bill intact and voted down commonsense amendments is a good thing, and will enable its passage. He thinks that Chuck Schumer has made a "substantial contribution." Why doesn’t he just come out and endorse the bill in unambiguous terms? He’s got a lot of money to run ads; why not run some pro-amnesty ads so his Kentucky constituents can get a clear picture as to where he stands on such a consequential issue?
Folks, the only thing that is not good about the status quo is the lack of a bold contrast – or any contrast – to Schumer’s agenda in the Senate. We need a choice, not a faint and pathetic echo.
Schumer’s immigration deform bill might play well with McConnell's base of donors and establishment consultants who desire to remake the party, but it won’t play well with his constituents.