Senator Lindsey Graham The Only Republicans Crossing The Lines On Immigration Bill
Barack Obama has been working feverishly on targeted Republicans, trying to get them to join Democrats in pushing an immigration bill. And outside of Lindsey Graham, he’s struck out.
Sources familiar with discussions about the issue say the White House is reluctant to move on the politically polarizing and divisive issue of immigration without bipartisan support.
Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina seems to be the only GOP senator on board, but he has told Democrats they will lose his support unless they find another Republican.
Obama called Sen. Scott Brown, R-Massachusetts, to try to get him to sign on, as well as four other GOP senators: Lisa Murkowksi of Alaska, Richard Lugar of Indiana, George Lemieux of Florida and Judd Gregg of New Hampshire.
CNN contacted aides to those senators, and all said none gave the president a commitment to work with Democrats on immigration reform.
Democratic sources say they will probably work to get GOP support for another few weeks and then weigh how to proceed.
This is why the tea party is important. Back in January, MSNBC’s Chuck Todd made an interesting comment about Democrats not being able to peel off Republican support for their agenda because the Republicans were afraid to go home and face the tea partiers.
MR. TODD: …which is this, this–I would–not disgust, but it’s sort of this distrust of all institutions that are out there, government included. But I think that — I want to go to something E.J. said about the Republican Party. I think the most striking thing about the minority party today versus, that is that a Republican can’t go home, and it’s mostly because of this tea party crowd, cannot go home and sell a piece of pork that they got from Washington. It is now, when you bring home something, saying, “Hey, I brought federal dollars to this.” You’re on the defensive now.
MR. GREGORY: Mm-hmm.
MR. TODD: And so that does make the president’s challenge. So it’s not as if he can trade–you know, go and have these trades with a Susan Collins or Olympia Snowe, or let’s say Lamar –let’s go to — move over to maybe more conservative center-right, Lamar Alexander or something like this, because they’re not getting a benefit at home of bringing something back.
MR. GREGORY: Right.
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