Sensing support for the Senate’s immigration bill is losing momentum and anticipating the fierce resistance against the bill during the August recess, the Gang of Eight will coordinate with the big business interests to target at least 100 House Republicans and pressure them into supporting the measure studies have shown would devastate the wages of working class Americans of all races and backgrounds.
Politico reported on Tuesday evening that Gang of Eight Senators, like Sens. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) and Chuck Schumer (D-NY) met with groups like Microsoft, Google, Intel, and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg’s FWD.us “to discuss a coordinated campaign” to target House Republicans “when they are at home in their districts over the next month.”
They will seek to pressure House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) to “abandon his pledge to follow the Hastert Rule — a standard that would prohibit him from bringing a bill to the floor that doesn’t have the support of the majority of House Republicans.” Further, they suggested urging pastors to give sermons to push for immigration reform.
According to the report, “Graham said that there are between 30 and 40 Republicans who are staunchly opposed to the Senate bill– but warned that number cannot grow.” McCain, knowing how unpopular the Senate bill is, reportedly urged supporters not to bring up the Senate bill by name. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), who has not said a word about immigration since the Senate bill passed more than three weeks ago, reportedly did not show up to the meeting.
Some of the Republicans the group intends to target, according to the report, include Reps. Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC), Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) (R-FA), Rep. Daniel Webster (R-FL) (R-FL.), Frank LoBiando (R-NJ), Rep. John Kline (R-MN), Rep. Rob Bishop (R-UT) Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA), Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Rep. Mike McCaul (R-T), the Homeland Security Committee Chairman.
A Schumer spokesman confirmed the meeting the Politico, saying, “In an effort to grow support in the House for immigration reform, members of the Gang of Eight met with supporters of immigration reform and discussed how to spread the word, both why this is good for members’ districts and the country.”
News of the meeting came to light a day after Rep. Steve King (R-IA), a staunch opponent of the immigration bill, told Breitbart News Executive Chairman Stephen K. Bannon on Breitbart News’ exclusive broadcast of the D.C. March for Jobs rally on Monday that amnesty opponents needed to pressure House Republicans now and at every town hall meeting they could attend in August. Specifically, King said targeting House Republicans in South Carolina, Virginia, and Ohio would “make the most difference” in stopping comprehensive immigration reform.
Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) also said on Monday during the march, that brought together conservatives and progressives of all backgrounds in opposition to the bill, that the pendulum was swinging against comprehensive immigration reform. Tea Party groups and those opposed to the bill have also been preparing to pressure House Members during the August recess to oppose comprehensive immigration reform.
Politico noted the group intends to meet again in ten days to further map out their strategy.