Senate “Gang of Eight” Republicans are vowing not to try anything sneaky, as Congress considers legislation to address the border crisis.
In a statement that underscores the remarkable distance the immigration debate has traveled since their bill passed the Senate with 68 votes last year, the four Republican authors say they do not support bringing up such a bill this year.
“Last year, we helped lead the effort to pass immigration reform legislation that received 68 votes in the United States Senate,” Sens. Marco Rubio (R-FL), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), John McCain (R-AZ) and Jeff Flake (R-AZ) said in a joint statement. They went on:
While we continue to support the goals of comprehensive immigration reform, none of us would support including that bill in legislation needed this year to address the current humanitarian crisis on our southern border. Any legislation considered this year must be focused exclusively on addressing the current crisis, halting the flow of unaccompanied children crossing the border, and preventing future waves from making the dangerous journey north.
The promise comes as conservatives in the House Republican conference are warning that any legislative effort to address the crisis could result in an attempt to bring broader reform legislation in the Senate.
Other Republicans who voted for the Gang of Eight bill did not sign this statement–at least not yet.
Those other 10 Republicans are: Sens. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), Susan Collins (R-ME), Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Bob Corker (R-TN), Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Dean Heller (R-NV), John Hoeven (R-ND), Mark Kirk (R-IL) and Jeff Chiesa (R-NJ).
Chiesa no longer serves in the Senate, because he was just a temporary replacement after the late Frank Lautenberg died in office.