Dems need to blow past bad-faith GOP and use their majority to deliver
A Roll Call article on the status of bipartisan immigration talks makes it clear that Republicans are not negotiating in good faith. They don’t want a policy breakthrough this year, they want a political issue for next year.
We understand why Democrats are pursuing bipartisanship. But none of us should be under the illusion that Republicans want to help Democrats produce a result. They want to obstruct the Biden agenda, politicize the border, and use the mirage of bipartisan negotiations to slow walk the process. Here are some key quotes from the GOP leaders:
- Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said of the prospects of delivering legislation that includes a pathway to citizenship, “I don’t think they’re going to have a snowball’s chance in hell of doing that given the massive influx at the border. There’ll be no immigration reform until you get control of the border.”
- Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) characterized the negotiations as “A lot of talk … no progress.” Earlier, Senator Cornyn told the New York Times, “Before we can do anything meaningful on immigration, we’re going to have to deal with the current crisis at the border.” This is classic Cornyn – positioning himself as a faux deal-maker who talks a good game and strings out the negotiations but always gets to “no” (it’s so typical of Cornyn that we have dubbed it the “Cornyn Con” – see the linked post for the receipts).
- Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) told the truth last week, declaring, “100% of my focus is on stopping this new administration.”
Greg Sargent of the Washington Post recently called out the GOP game:
Here’s how this scam works: There is no point at which Republicans will ever acknowledge that this ‘crisis’ is being managed. They have already telegraphed that they hope to win back control of Congress in 2022 largely with a message hyping this ‘crisis.’
… Does anybody imagine there will come a point when Republicans will say, ‘Okay, Biden’s totally got the border under control now, so let’s get serious about working with Democrats on legalizing a lot of immigrants’? Of course not.
According to Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice,
Republican Senators are saying the quiet part out loud. They are pretending to be interested so they can delay progress, get to no, and blame Democrats.
Then, when Democrats move forward on their own and work to include immigration reform legislation on the next jobs package, Republicans will accuse them of not being bipartisan. That’s because the GOP knows: if they can thwart Democrats on immigration, Democratic voters who care deeply about legalization will blame Democrats for not keeping their promise. It will depress Democratic turnout and help Republicans achieve their overarching goal: seizing and hanging onto power.
Democrats should blow past bad-faith Republican actors and use every ounce of their power and their majority to deliver citizenship for millions. This is the year. Failure is not an option.