Posted by Curt on 7 August, 2013 at 5:00 pm. Be the first to comment!



The chief Democratic spokesman for comprehensive reform is suddenly mellow about the Republican approach?

Dude, I’m nervous.

“I actually am optimistic that we will get this done,” Schumer said about a bill taking shape in the House during an interview on CNN. “I’ve had a lot of discussions with various members of both parties in the House. Things are moving in the right direction.”…

“We would much prefer the comprehensive bill, but any way the House can get there is all right by us,” Schumer said.

Actually, let me rephrase. Dude, I would be nervous if I thought the House Republican leadership was serious about a piecemeal approach. But they aren’t. When push comes to shove, they’re comprehensivists too:

First, passing tougher enforcement measures before August would take all the momentum away from other more divisive measures, such as giving “Dreamers,” the children brought to the United States illegally, a legal option for staying in the country. While House leaders publicly insist on dealing with the immigration issues separately, they privately are wary of letting their piecemeal approach be taken out of context.

Second, voting on border security before August would hand Democrats a gift-wrapped political cudgel, a case that again paints Republicans as interested only in legislation that cracks down on immigrants. Or, as one senior House leadership aide put it, “all you did was pass bills that on the surface look discriminatory.” A month of ads smacking Republicans for being anti-immigrant was not a happy prospect.

The point of the piecemeal approach in theory is to start with border security, force both chambers of Congress to focus on that as leverage for serious action, and then deal with amnesty once that’s done. Schumer’s betting that House Republicans will go through the motions of a piecemeal approach in order to try to placate people like you and me and then simply agree to stitch their various bills together into one big comprehensive bill in the conference committee with the Senate. That’s a piecemeal means to a comprehensive end. What good is that? No wonder Schumer doesn’t object.

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