The Senate debate on immigration has begun and it’s not good. Despite the promise from Majority Leader Mitch McConnell that they would have as much as two weeks of free-wheeling, open amendment debate, he’s already stated his desired outcome: Trump’s complete white supremacist wish list in return for the Dreamers’ path to citizenship. He’s also creating a false threshold for legislation—something that will get 30 Republican votes.
And as for the two weeks of consideration? He sent out his number two guy, the odious Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), to renege on that, giving the Senate essentially two days.
“This is Sen. (Dick) Durbin and Democrats’ opportunity and so far they kind of seem to be a little confused about what they’re planning on doing — but they better get it done quick because it’s this week or not at all,” said Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn.
“We need to get it wrapped up by Thursday,” Cornyn said.
A Republican aide said that this is intended “to light a fire under Democrats and get them to release their amendments. GOP leaders are worried Democrats want to drag out the debate for ‘weeks and weeks.'” They were promised “weeks.” Not that you can believe a thing out of McConnell’s mouth, particularly the promises, but here’s something Republicans seem to have forgotten. A real, substantive legislative process that doesn’t have a preordained outcome takes weeks and weeks. They haven’t done real legislating for so long they seem to have forgotten that.
To be honest, the Democrats here aren’t doing a whole lot better.