Days after labor and business announced a major breakthrough in their negotiations on the future flow section of immigration reform. Senator Marco Rubio and Lindsay Graham took to the airwaves to caution that while they had a “conceptual agreement” There was not as of yet an actual agreement on the legislation. Senator Rubio was particularly forceful in his assertion that the legislation be taken through “regular order” which involves public hearings and amendments from other Senators both in committee and on the Senate floor.
Washington Post – Lindsey Graham: Conceptual deal on immigration reform Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said Sunday that a bipartisan group of senators working on a proposal to overhaul the nation’s immigration laws has reached a conceptual agreement. “I think we’ve got a deal, and we’ve got to write the legislation,” Graham said on CNN’s “State of The Union.” Graham is part of a bipartisan group of eight senators working an effort to develop broad immigration reform legislation.
New York Times – Rubio Says Immigration Bill Still Has a Way to Go As several of the eight senators taking part in a bipartisan effort to overhaul to the nation’s immigration laws appeared on television Sunday to voice optimism about the negotiations, Senator Marco Rubio, a member of the group, issued a strongly worded message of caution. An aide to Mr. Rubio, Republican of Florida, said his comments were not intended to suggest that a deal was unlikely. Instead, his aim was to keep expectations in check until the details of the legislation are complete, and to urge the group to take the bill through “regular order,” which he says is necessary to garner public support. That process involves public hearings and amendments from other senators both in committee and on the Senate floor.
Washington Post – Why Marco Rubio needs to slow walk immigration reform – The statement — both its timing and its contents — was a deliberate attempt by Rubio to slow down the momentum toward a deal on immigration. Rubio knew that New York Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer — another member of the so-called “Gang of 8″ that is negotiating on immigration and the de facto chief strategist for his side — was scheduled to appear on NBC News’s “Meet the Press” later Sunday morning. And the Florida Republican knew that Schumer would cast the immigration negotiations as a done deal, which, of course, he did. (“With the agreement between business and labor, every major policy issue has been resolved on the ‘Gang of Eight,’” Schumer told Chuck Todd.) What Rubio was doing in releasing his statement then was ensuring that Schumer’s “it’s all over but the shouting” declaration didn’t wreak of capitulation to conservatives who are closely watching every move the Florida Republican makes — on immigration and everything else. “The Senate is littered with Republicans who negotiated with Chuck Schumer, thinking they had one deal when he had something else entirely in mind,” said Rick Wilson, a Florida-based GOP consultant. “I think [Rubio is] very mindful of the two potential negative outcomes (something perceived as a blanket/easy amnesty or a deal perceived as not moving the ball in a meaningful way) but still views this as a right policy/right politics matter.”