Would a Republican Congress Be More Successful at Immigration Reform?
As Obama’s favorability drops, critics are questioning the usefulness of his pledge of support for immigration reform. One Democratic aide told Time that immigration talk by the White House is a “lose-lose” for Democrats — it angers voters on both sides of the issue and will hurt re-election efforts this November.
With the path forward so cloudy for Democrats, Ruben Navarrette Jr. argues that a Republican takeover of Congress would actually help immigration reform: *
Take the issue of immigration. One of the best things that can happen to Obama, assuming he is serious about pursuing comprehensive reform, is to be rid of a pair of obstacles: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who sees his role as protecting organized labor from having to compete with foreign workers, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who likewise protects Democratic members from having to take a vote on a controversial issue. With Reid and Pelosi gone, Obama can work with pro-business Republicans to find solutions to a problem that need not be as vexing as Washington makes it out to be.
Navarrette doesn’t name “pro-business Republican” names, and it’s unclear exactly why he thinks Republicans would be more successful. (Remember when Bush pushed for immigration reform in 2007 but was blocked by fellow GOP members?) Previous supporters of immigration reform, such as Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), have been taking a much harder line on immigration and might not bounce back to moderate stances immediately if Republicans take the House and Senate.
The administration may still be hoping for the support of Sen. Scott Brown, the Massachusetts Republican who just helped pass financial regulatory reform. Obama reached out to Brown in April and asked him to take a look at an immigration reform bill that has since stalled. At the time he was noncommittal. Brown said he’d consider it, but that he would not agree to “vote for granting amnesty to anyone.”