Thursday, October 22, 2015

On Immigration, Conservatives Should Look Past 2016

In NRO today, I argue that, when thinking about the future of the congressional GOP and its leadership, Republicans need to think beyond the Obama administration:
However, it seems unlikely that any “comprehensive bill” would make it through Congress in 2016 no matter what. It’s hard to see how the Senate would get to 60 votes on a “comprehensive” immigration bill in 2016. Not only is it an election year, but many of the Democrats who supported the Gang of Eight bill lost in 2014, and a number of Republicans who supported it are up for reelection in November 2016. The Senate’s likely inability to pass an immigration bill for the rest of the Obama presidency makes the House’s refusal to pass a flawed immigration bill less important.
But the picture looks different for 2017. The Gang of Eight’s legislative descendant may currently be gestating, waiting to spring from the womb with a new administration. It would be easy to see a number (though not all) of current Republican and Democratic presidential candidates attempting to revive instant legalization and expanded guest-worker programs if the mood in Congress is right. It would also be possible to see the Senate pass such a bill in 2017–18, and that possibility increases if the filibuster is nuked. In a legislative discussion about immigration, House Republican leadership would probably have a major role to play.
Read the rest here.

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