How Chuck Schumer built an immigration trap for the House Republicans
Chuck Schumer set a high bar for the immigration reform bill in the Senate.
After months of negotiating, amending, deflecting and horse-trading, the Senate yesterday approved the bill, which includes both a pathway to citizenship and a dramatic escalation of border security, with 68 votes, just two shy of Schumer's stated goal.
Schumer talked about the political need for 70 votes in nearly every interview about the bill, leading Democrats to question why he was setting such a challenging goal, and whether it was worth making the compromises with Republicans it would take to get there.
Led by Schumer, the Senate's bipartisan so-called Gang of Eight beefed up the bill's border security requirements, which helped win over 14 Republicans, but also cost the bill support from some allies on the left.
Schumer's colleagues in the Senate leadership, Harry Reid and Dick Durbin, worried about moving the bill too far to the right before it even goes to the Republican-held House, which would presumably tug the bill even farther in the direction of border security at the expense of creating legal opportunities for immigrants to become citizens.
But now, with the Senate overwhelmingly approving a bill, it seems that Schumer made the right strategic decision in bending over backward to attract broad support.
As Brian Beutler points out, House Speaker John Boehner can't dismiss Schumer's 68-vote bill as a one-sided, partisan effort.
Which in turn leaves Boehner with the unattractive options of passing a similar House bill with help from Democrats, over the objections of many of his conservative members, creating a partisan, non-starter answer to the Senate bill, or effectively refusing to do anything.
He has promised Republicans he won't bring the Senate bill on the floor, or any bill for that matter, unless a majority of his conference supports it (in keeping with the apocryphal "Hastert Rule").
But if he drafts a more conservative bill, without a path to citizenship, he'll lose Democratic support and have to pass it with only his Republicans. Which anyway seems nearly impossible, given the party's infighting; last week, despite the urging of their leaders, Republicans failed to unite behind a farm bill, which went down to an embarrassing defeat.
He could pass the legislation piecemeal, but that doesn't offer much leverage in conference. Or he could do what he did on previous deals for the debt ceiling and Sandy aid, and eventually pass the bill with a majority of Democrats and a smattering of Republicans.
House Republicans will meet on July 10 to try to figure out a way around Schumer 's bill. But it won't be easy.--Reid Pillifant
"This is a fight to defend your life and your kids' lives. You can rest assured I will not give up for one minute." — Michael Bloomberg
"As Minority Officials Are Caught Up in Scandals, Some See a Conspiracy" [Thomas Kaplan]
Betitna Plevan, the lawyer Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver hired for the Vito Lopez lawsuit, previously defended Penthouse magazine owner Bob Guccione in a sexual harassment lawsuit. [Ken Lovett]
State lawmakers will disclose their outside sources of income next week. [Jon Campbell]
NY1 Host Errol Louis: "[I]f the bill takes effect November 1st, when do the bodies start falling?" Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. "Errol, police officers have said to me 'If this bill goes into effect, we're not getting out of the car.'" [NY1]
Anthony Weiner has "grave concerns" about exposing the NYPD to lawsuits. [Reid Pillifant]
Mayor Michael Bloomberg said polls are "just something to keep you busy." [Dana Rubinstein]
A polling memo from Republican John Catsimatidis' campaign says he is surging. [Azi Paybarah]
When it comes to the city's bike-sharing program, the prevailing attitude is the opposite of NIMBY. [Azi Paybarah]
When France got speed cameras, the result was fewer deaths. [Dana Rubinstein]
"Over the past two months, five journalists from Mail Online's Soho-based Manhattan operation have quit to go work at the Daily News." [Joe Pompeo]
Video: Highlights from the debate and vote on two NYPD oversight bills. [Azi Paybarah]
Video: Weiner makes a liberal case against Ol Dirty Bastardism. [Azi Paybarah]
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City Council Speaker Christine Quinn's campaign events are "EMBARGOED UNTIL DATE AND TIME OF EVENT."
10 a.m. Governor Andrew Cuomo discusses Start-Up NY in the Student Union Center building at SUNY College at Old Westbury, 223 Store Hill Road, Old Westbury. @nygovCuomo #StartUpNY
10 a.m. On Brian Lehrer's show: After Texas legislator Wendy Davis' filibuster against a bill to restrict abortion rights, the show will look at "the wider landscape of abortion rights in the U.S." Also, "a special deep dive on affirmative action." [WNYC] @BrianLehrer #StandWithWendy #VRA #scotus
10 a.m. On Fred Dicker's show: "Capital district chef/restauranteur Carmine Spiro: Why Texas tempts me and why it's so hard to do business in New York." [Talk1300]
11 a.m. On "The Capitol Pressroom:" Aaron Short, the Albany correspondent for City and State, on this weeks' winners and losers. Plus Yancey Roy of Newsday and Jessica Bakeman of Ganette on GPS tracking, teacher pensions, and "“What’s the latest with Governor Cuomo’s promised Moreland Commission?” [WCNY] @sArbetter @AaronShortstory @YanceyRoy @JessicaBakeman
10:30 a.m. Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer and Councilwoman Melissa Mark-Viverito protest the redevelopment of an East Harlem school, at 321 East 96th Street (between 1st and 2nd Avenues) Manhattan. @ScottmStringer @mmViverito
11 a.m. Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez will join members of the Bosch family for the ribbon cutting of Juan Bosch Plaza. High Bridge Park, at the park's 190th street entrance, Manhattan. @Ydanis
4 p.m. Rodriguez will join Senator Adriano Espaillat, Assembly Member Gabriela Rosa and the Department of Transportation's Manhattan Commissioner, Margaret Forgione on a walking tour of the Dyckman Street, starting at the corner of Dyckman and Broadway, Manhattan. @Ydanis @EspaillatNY @GabrielaRosaNYS
6 p.m. Democratic mayoral candidate Sal Albanese meets voters at the Astoria Park Festival, 23rd Road and 19th Street, Queens. @SalAlbanese2013
6 p.m. On "Pura Politica:" Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez discusses the passage of the city budget, the two NYPD oversight bills and the Supreme Court's ruling on the Defense of Marriage Act. [NY1]
7 p.m. On "The Road to City Hall:" Capital New York's co-edior Josh Bneson, public editor Gillian Reagan, contributor Steven Boone, and staff writer Azi Paybarah, discuss the web site and Capital's e-book, "Making the City: Selected stories from Capital New York." Also: A tour of Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer's district. And: The reporters roundtable. [NY1] @TheRoadToCityHall @jwBens @Gillianmae @Azi @JimmyVanBramer
7 p.m. Democratic mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner attends Beit Simchat Torah Shabbat service at Church of the Holy Apostles, 296 9th Avenue (between 27th and 28th Streets) Manhattan. @AnthonyWeiner
8:30 p.m. Weiner attends Pride Launch Party fund-raiser, at Aloft Hotel, 2296 Frederick Douglas Boulevard, (between 123rd and 124th Streets) Manhattan. @AnthonyWeiner
Howard Dean will hold a fund-raiser for Bill de Blasio on July 18. [David Chen]
Professor Doug Muzzio said the Hotel Trades Council endorsement of Christine Quinn meant the union was "making a judgment about winnability." [Celeste Katz]
The union "vows to spend as much as $2 million to help get Quinn the win." [Celeste Katz]
The union also has a lot of sway with immigrants. [Andrew Grossman]
Huma Abedin, Anthony Weiner's wife, attended a "Women for Anthony" fund-raiser last night and her "presence was intended as a signal to women voters that it’s OK to forgive her tweeting hubby's indiscretions." [Nathan Place and Jennifer Fermino]
On police, school and health care issues, "Anthony Weiner comes across as more sensible on all these positions than [his] rivals." [New York Post]
"Christine Quinn yesterday won the endorsement of the most famous gay woman in America." [Antonio Antenucci and Beth Defalco]
An editorial page in Queens is glad the "last budget dance of the Bloomberg administration is over," and wants to hear from mayoral candidates what they'll do about rising pension costs for city workers. [Queens Chronicle]
That editorial page also said it's a mistake to curb stop-and-frisk. [Queens Chronicle]
City Hal / City Council
Deputy Mayor Howard Wolfson said the fight over the two NYPD oversight bills is not done. "We think it's possible to move another vote. The issue is too important to give up." [Michael Howard Saul]
Assemblyman Brian Kavanagh joined the local opposition to a plan to build a new sanitation garage at First Avenue and 25th Street. [Claire Oliver]
Rep. Joe Crowley called the Republican furor over the I.R.S. a "witch hunt." [Eric Dolan]
One editorial page said the immigration reform bill the Senate passed isn't perfect, or ideal, but it's something, and the House Republicans should support putting the bill up for a vote. [New York Times]
More on President Obama nominating Patrick Gaspard to be the next ambassador to South Africa. [Carl Campanile]