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AP: Time Running Out On Bush Amnesty Bill

From a very concerned Associated Press:

Time running out on Bush on immigration

By BEN FELLER, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON – President Bush, short on political capital and time, is devoting much of what’s left of his term in office to getting an immigration deal.

Starting with an April 9 speech in Arizona, in which he talked tough about border security and prodded Congress to get moving, Bush has staged a dozen immigration events. That’s not counting his four radio addresses on the topic in that time, or his phone calls to lawmakers, or his bold prediction that he’d see reporters at the bill-signing for a bill that seemed dead.

His agenda reflects that immigration is a White House priority for multiple reasons.

It is deeply important to the president, a former Texas governor who sees the status quo on immigration as a failure for the nation and a looming disaster for his party. It is seen as a major legislative victory within reach. And it is seen as urgent — now or never for him, most likely.

So each day, a White House strategy team weighs how to maintain momentum on a bill offering legal status to millions of unlawful immigrants.

A small, core group of officials — representing policy, communications, strategy and legislative offices — organizes the approach.

There is no war room, per se, but rather meetings held in locations at the White House and on Capitol Hill. The participants vary and overlap. The president gets involved when his participation is deemed to have the most impact. His voice is the loudest, but not one to be overused, the strategy goes.

The signals often come from Candida Wolff, Bush’s legislative affairs chief.

“She hollers when she wants the president’s assistance in speaking to a particular member of Congress,” said Joel Kaplan, the deputy chief of staff for policy. “And I expect that she’ll holler a few more times before all is said and done.”

Meanwhile, two of Bush’s Cabinet members have made almost a full-time job of lobbying for the bill. Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff and Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez may as well be considered tenants on Capitol Hill, Kaplan quipped.

When the immigration bill stalled in the Senate, Bush got personally involved in resurrecting it.

He called Republican Sens. Jon Kyl of Arizona, Trent Lott of Mississippi and Mitch McConnell of Kentucky while in Europe. On his flight back to the U.S., he called Kyl and Democratic Sens. Ken Salazar of Colorado and Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts.

Then, the next day, he made a rare visit to Capitol Hill to lobby Republican senators at a closed-door meeting.

The rescue effort had at least some effect; later that week, Senate leaders reached a deal to get the bill back up for debate…

Bush is still making calls to senators, although the White House picks and chooses when it will disclose details.

“He’s been on the phone,” spokesman Tony Snow said Tuesday. “I’m not going to tell you how many or who he has talked to.” …

What is the rush again? Is there a risk the illegal aliens might go home before they can be made Democrat-voting US citizens?

Or are they afraid more people will realize what will happen to this country if this bill passes?

Meanwhile, two of Bush’s Cabinet members have made almost a full-time job of lobbying for the bill. Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff and Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez may as well be considered tenants on Capitol Hill, Kaplan quipped.

I thought we were at war and practically under siege from Al Qaeda. Is this really what the head of Homeland Security should be doing full-time?

And speaking of the war, if Mr. Bush fought for victory as hard as he is fighting for amnesty we would be done by now.

What the hell is going on?

Why is destroying the GOP and our country suddenly such an urgent priority?

This article was posted by Steve on Wednesday, June 27th, 2007. Comments are currently closed.

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