Sources: Corker-Hoeven Amendment Last Ditch Effort to Save Immigration Bill
Senate staffers from three different offices have suggested to Breitbart News that the fig leaf amendment to the “Gang of Eight” immigration bill from Sens. Bob Corker (R-TN) and John Hoeven (R-ND) is a last ditch effort by the Gang of Eight and Senate Democrats to save the bill.
“The bill can’t pass as it’s currently written,” one GOP aide told Breitbart News. “They can’t get 60 votes as it’s currently written. The bill has to be amended with not only stronger border security measures but should also include verification that progress is being made on the border before the legalization process begins."
"If Corker-Hoeven doesn’t pass, then the most likely scenario is that the bill can’t pass,” the source claimed.
Another GOP aide added that the Corker-Hoeven amendment is crucial to the Gang of Eight efforts, even if it does not solve the border security concerns raised by those in opposition to the bill.
“Clearly the Corker-Hoeven amendment is the key for the Gang of Eight to get their bill across the finish line,” that aide said. “I think initially people thought the Cornyn amendment would be the amendment that would give this bill the aura of having border security to help it pass. It would be considered Cornyn-lite.”
A third GOP aide claimed that voting for the Corker-Hoeven amendment is like voting for the bill as it currently written. “A vote for Corker-Hoeven is a vote for insecure borders, more criminal aliens and another amnesty in a decade or two,” that aide explained.
There are reports swirling that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is rushing to pass the bill and may table or kill all amendments other than the Corker-Hoeven proposal. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) also noted during a press conference Thursday afternoon that this all appears to be game-playing by Senate leadership.
“Washington is very, very good at Kabuki theater,” Cruz said.
A great many things in this town are stage-managed. From the outset, in my opinion, it was clear that the managers of this bill were going to, near the end of the Senate process, allow an amendment that would at least purport to increase border security, that would be a fig leaf and allow everyone to say "Hosanna! Hosanna! The border has been secured! Now let’s all come on board with this gigantic bill."
Cruz added that “seeing an amendment today that does that is no surprise to anyone who’s been watching this process unfold.”
But while the Senate Democrat leaders have been playing games, opposition to the bill has been surging. More and more members of the Senate and the House come out against it every week. The Hill’s Alex Bolton reported on Wednesday night that the Gang of Eight and its supporters are bleeding Republican votes they thought they would have for the bill.
While the bill’s fate still remains unclear, next week is going to be a big fight from all sides, especially as the momentum shifts. And with the revelation that the Corker-Hoeven amendment was written with significant input from Gang of Eight members, particulary Sens. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Bob Menendez (D-NJ), the future of the Corker-Hoeven amendment, and the bill, seems to be in limbo.