Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) reportedly conceded that opponents of the Senate’s immigration bill are winning the messaging battle during a meeting with Gang of Eight members and big business interests on how to target and pressure House Republicans on comprehensive immigration reform.
At the meeting, McCain, along with Sens. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ), and Chuck Schumer (R-NY), reportedly plotted out a strategy to target at least 100 House Republicans and pressure House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) to bring a bill to the floor even if it does not have the support of a majority of House Republicans. Boehner has indicated he would not violate the so-called “Hastert Rule” to do just that.
According to Politico, “McCain suggested to the group that they’re losing the messaging battle to immigration opponents.”
As a result, McCain “urged the group to push for the Senate bill by discussing its component parts — but not mentioning the overall bill.” Graham (R-SC) told the meeting that there are “between 30 and 40 Republicans who are staunchly opposed to the Senate bill — but warned that number cannot grow.”
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), one of the most seminal Gang of Eight members, who was often the face of the Senate’s immigration bill, reportedly did not even attend the meeting. Rubio has not said a word about immigration since it passed the Senate more than three weeks ago.
A Congressional Budget Office analysis found the bill would devastate America’s working class by drastically reducing wages of American workers of all races. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), who has emphasized that working class Americans deserve a voice in the debate, said on Monday that Breitbart News was doing a great job getting the truth out about the Senate’s bill and combating the spin coming from the Gang of Eight and their “big business” allies. He made his comments when he appeared on Breitbart News’s exclusive broadcast of the D.C. March for Jobs rally.
That rally, organized by the Black American Leadership Alliance, was a sign of how the Gang of Eight was losing the immigration debate, as McCain said, as it brought together conservatives and progressives of all races who were united against the Senate’s bill.
The Gang of Eight members appear to realize this political reality and how fiercely the immigration bill may be opposed when House members go on recess in August. Rep. Steve King (R-IA) told Breitbart News that opponents of comprehensive immigration could make the most impact by pressuring House Republicans in Virginia, South Carolina, and Ohio now and during the August recess.
Politico reported that it was clear from the meeting “that senators see their comprehensive immigration reform effort hitting stiff resistance in the House.”