I found this comment on Sam Brownback’s campaign blog interesting:
“Highly unusual,” however, has accurately described the entire process by which this bill has been brought through the Senate. The drafting of the bill was conducted in secret, and completely bypassed the Senate Judiciary Committee. The amendment process has similarly been a nightmare – with the Democrats ostensibly blocking amendments in the name of “keeping the compromise together,” but then offering their own which were clearly unpalatable to the Republican allies of the bill. For instance, the Dorgan Amendment that passed last night sunset the temporary guest worker provision after five years, thus entirely eliminating the “comprehensive” aspect of the bill and virtually guaranteeing that many of the current circumstances giving rise to illegal immigration would arise again in half a decade. This amendment was the final straw for Senator Brownback and many of the Republican sponsors who had been attempting to craft a defensible immigration bill.
As Senator Brownback said during the debate Tuesday night, any acceptable immigration bill had to do three things: (1) Secure the border, and (2) effectively provide for interior enforcement through a verifiable employer verification program, and (3) comprehensively address the illegal immigration program by providing for a workable and safe temporary guest worker program. The Dorgan Amendment turned the Immigration Bill into an ineffective non-solution.
I had figured Brownback wouldn’t be terribly far from McCain in his immigration position and would experience similar resulting problems with the GOP base… This turn of events puts Browback in a position to say, “hey, guys, I wanted a comprehensive bill, but not like this.”
Interesting question: Is McCain helped if the immigration issue dies down and is further from the headlines come the caucuses and primaries?