President Barack Obama told Democratic members of Congress Tuesday he wants the DREAM Act passed in the lame duck session as a “down payment” on substantial immigration reform, according to members at the meeting.
Well, he may want the DREAM Act amnesty passed in the lame duck, but then Attila the Hun probably wants ice water about now, but he’s not getting any.
And, he said, he’d call resistant senators to get them on board.
Which senators? Maybe the 23 Democrats up for reelection in less than two years? Or Republican sponsors of the amnesty, like Lugar and Hatch, who are now worried about primary challenges in 2012?
The president told Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Reps. Nydia Velasquez (D-N.Y.) and Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) in a meeting at the White House that he would call members holding out on approving the DREAM Act, which provides a path to citizenship for young illegal immigrants who complete two years of college or military service.
“What we said to him was, ‘We know you’re for comprehensive immigration reform. We have a window. It’s closing. Be for this. Let’s all be for this specific part,’ ” Gutierrez told reporters off the floor of the House. “And he said, ‘I will call the members and say I’m for comprehensive immigration reform, reiterate my commitment to it. I’d like this as a down payment.’”
You bet the window is closing. Of course, if they’d moved “this specific part” of their amnesty agenda on its own years ago they might have won. But they wanted the whole loaf and disdained the prospect of just a slice, and now it’s too late for them.
“Nydia asked him if he’d help. And he said just call me and give me the names. And he would begin to personally call members that need it. Any help that we need in terms of phone calls,” Gutierrez said. “He said ‘My policy is the following. I will call and tell them I am committed to comprehensive immigration reform. Give me the dream act in the lame duck.’”
That’s all the president is going to do? Tell opponents of the DREAM Act amnesty what they already know? Why not call them and say, “Hey, fellas, I am committed to seizing the commanding heights of the economy. Give me socialism in the lame duck” — that has about as much chance of succeeding.
The measure was attached to the defense authorization bill in the Senate just before Congress left town to campaign for the Nov. 2 elections, but stalled.
In the House, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said last week she plans to bring the measure to the floor before the end of the year.
In fact, Pelosi’s already postponed such a vote once, until after Thanksgiving, and I wouldn’t be surprised if she pulls the football away from Charlie Brown yet again.
Democrats are eager to address the concerns of Latino voters who have been disappointed that Congress hasn’t passed a bill with a path to citizenship for millions of illegal immigrants. But Latinos still turned out on Nov. 2, supporting Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Sens. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) and Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), among other candidates.
In other words, the Democrats have learned they can string along the pro-amnesty groups, giving them absolutely nothing, and still get their votes. Why would they change tactics now?