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  • Back Bush, Rove tells House GOP

    By Patrick O'Connor

    White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove went into the lion's den yesterday, calling on House Republicans to rally behind an immigration plan that many of them oppose.

    The meeting, however, was cordial, according to congressional GOP officials who attended. Rove characterized the meeting as "hopeful, optimistic and positive."

    The White House political guru kept his remarks brief during the Republicans' regular Wednesday-morning conference meeting, expanding on the five points that President Bush laid out in his prime-time television appearance Monday night, members and aides in attendance said yesterday.

    Rove spent much of his time explaining the particulars of the president's plan to expand security along the border and did not remain long enough to answer many questions.

    Given his tight schedule, Republican Conference Chairwoman Deborah Pryce (R-Ohio) had to cut Rove off so that members could ask him a few questions in front of their colleagues.

    Ways and Means Committee Chairman Bill Thomas (R-Calif.), who is not running for reelection, commended the president for his remarks and said they came at the exact right time. Rep. Ric Keller (R-Fla.) then couched his serious reservations about aspects of Bush's plan with a light-hearted barb at the senior senator from Massachusetts.

    "Karl, yesterday Ted Kennedy gave a passionate speech on the Senate floor supporting President Bush's proposal," Keller told Rove. "If you get in bed with Ted Kennedy, you're going to get more than sleep."

    The remark prompted laughter from the assembled lawmakers, but the good-natured jest belied the Floridian's serious concerns about the political implications of this debate.

    Keller said he was concerned that working with a liberal Democrat was the wrong way to appeal to conservative Republican voters this election season.

    White House Press Secretary Tony Snow said yesterday that Bush is "actually taking a more aggressive approach on border security than the House of Representatives took. ... So I think that is the sort of thing that is going to answer a lot of the complaints we have heard from some in the Republican caucus on Capitol Hill."

    GOP lawmakers have grown increasingly worried about the political impact this issue will have on their reelection races in the fall. While most members contend that voters in their districts would like to see a bill signed into law before November, Republicans have struggled to reach a consensus.

    Republicans on Capitol Hill have complained at times this year that the White House has not taken a strong enough stand on the issue to give members political cover with the midterms approaching. The House-passed bill does not include Bush's guest-worker provisions, but they are expected to be included in any immigration bill the Senate approves.

    While immigrant groups throughout the country have attracted headlines with a series of protests over the past two months, anti-immigration groups have used e-mail, phone banks and regular mail to oppose any legislation that would expand the current guest-worker program or create avenues for illegal immigrants already in the country to gain citizenship.

    In that vein, eight members attended an afternoon press conference organized by Rep. John Sullivan (R-Okla.) to protest guest-worker provisions that could clear the Senate.

    Rove, who is the subject of an investigation into the leaked name of a covert CIA operative, did not address that case during his remarks yesterday.

  • #2
    By Patrick O'Connor

    White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove went into the lion's den yesterday, calling on House Republicans to rally behind an immigration plan that many of them oppose.

    The meeting, however, was cordial, according to congressional GOP officials who attended. Rove characterized the meeting as "hopeful, optimistic and positive."

    The White House political guru kept his remarks brief during the Republicans' regular Wednesday-morning conference meeting, expanding on the five points that President Bush laid out in his prime-time television appearance Monday night, members and aides in attendance said yesterday.

    Rove spent much of his time explaining the particulars of the president's plan to expand security along the border and did not remain long enough to answer many questions.

    Given his tight schedule, Republican Conference Chairwoman Deborah Pryce (R-Ohio) had to cut Rove off so that members could ask him a few questions in front of their colleagues.

    Ways and Means Committee Chairman Bill Thomas (R-Calif.), who is not running for reelection, commended the president for his remarks and said they came at the exact right time. Rep. Ric Keller (R-Fla.) then couched his serious reservations about aspects of Bush's plan with a light-hearted barb at the senior senator from Massachusetts.

    "Karl, yesterday Ted Kennedy gave a passionate speech on the Senate floor supporting President Bush's proposal," Keller told Rove. "If you get in bed with Ted Kennedy, you're going to get more than sleep."

    The remark prompted laughter from the assembled lawmakers, but the good-natured jest belied the Floridian's serious concerns about the political implications of this debate.

    Keller said he was concerned that working with a liberal Democrat was the wrong way to appeal to conservative Republican voters this election season.

    White House Press Secretary Tony Snow said yesterday that Bush is "actually taking a more aggressive approach on border security than the House of Representatives took. ... So I think that is the sort of thing that is going to answer a lot of the complaints we have heard from some in the Republican caucus on Capitol Hill."

    GOP lawmakers have grown increasingly worried about the political impact this issue will have on their reelection races in the fall. While most members contend that voters in their districts would like to see a bill signed into law before November, Republicans have struggled to reach a consensus.

    Republicans on Capitol Hill have complained at times this year that the White House has not taken a strong enough stand on the issue to give members political cover with the midterms approaching. The House-passed bill does not include Bush's guest-worker provisions, but they are expected to be included in any immigration bill the Senate approves.

    While immigrant groups throughout the country have attracted headlines with a series of protests over the past two months, anti-immigration groups have used e-mail, phone banks and regular mail to oppose any legislation that would expand the current guest-worker program or create avenues for illegal immigrants already in the country to gain citizenship.

    In that vein, eight members attended an afternoon press conference organized by Rep. John Sullivan (R-Okla.) to protest guest-worker provisions that could clear the Senate.

    Rove, who is the subject of an investigation into the leaked name of a covert CIA operative, did not address that case during his remarks yesterday.

    Comment


    • #3
      GOP lawmakers have grown increasingly worried about the political impact this issue will have on their reelection races in the fall. While most members contend that voters in their districts would like to see a bill signed into law before November, Republicans have struggled to reach a consensus.
      ------------

      This quote above is interesting..there will be extreme pressure of house republican to get something done before november because most of those republicans could lose their seat because of the public unhappiness toward bush and the war in iraq...the senate , for the most part, will not face election in novemeber..SO YOU NEED TO REMEMBER THAT THE PRESSURE IS ON SENSENBRENNER AND THE HARD LINERS TO GET SOMETHING PASS..THE SENATE HAS MORE LEWAY AND COULD EASILY WAIT THEM OUT.

      IN FACT, I BELIEVE THIS IS WHAT THE SENATE WILL DO, THE HOUSE HAS A MAJOR ALBATROSS ON THEIR SHOULDER WHYLE THE SENATE DOES NOT..GOOD LUCK IN PASSING A BILL THAT WANTS 12 MILLION PEOPLE DEPORTED..THE SENATE WILL NEVER SIGN UP FOR THAT.

      Comment


      • #4
        rove will get them to back down.

        Comment


        • #5
          You know the Hagel-Martinez compromise is just a step. But there's something important in the way the Senate majority has been able to hold together amid the cacophony this week. Maybe the restrictionists are ferocious because they understand their growing weakness. Maybe Rove was right when he insisted that something can be done, even in a conference with the House.
          So, braced against the storm, you trudge on.

          Comment


          • #6
            Restrictionists are ferocious because they are restrictionists.
            But above all because they strongly believe that anything short of punitive measures is too bad for country.
            Their feelings about it are so strong that it's next to useless to try to persuade them otherwise.

            But if you elevate your Mind for a moment, rise above the surface and look at every single force, every single body(including yourself) from above, you will gain a better perspective of what is enfolding at the moment and what should be expected in coming months.

            Regards,
            IE

            Comment

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