The coalition, and thus the legislation, is held together less by a meeting in the middle than by marrying elements of conservative and liberal reform visions, and business and labor interests.
Its key tradeoff is a plan to send thousands of agents to the U.S.-Mexico border while simultaneously placing millions of current immigrants on a pathway to citizenship. But it also creates a highly regulated guest worker program, and a high-skilled worker visa program, and strict rules governing how immigrants already in the country can turn the promise of citizenship into reality.
But the House isn’t poised to pass anything similar, let alone adopt the Senate bill full stop. On Thursday, Boehner reiterated, and expanded, a standard for passing immigration reform legislation that will result in either a narrower, more conservative bill, or no bill at all. TPM.com has more here.
President Obama on Thursday called for the House to pass immigration reform after the Senate approved its bill.
“Today, the Senate did its job,” Obama said in a statement released minutes after the Senate’s 68-32 vote. “It’s now up to the House to do the same.”
Obama said the Senate vote brought the nation “a critical step closer” to fixing a broken system “once and for all.”
As this process moves forward, I urge everyone who cares about this issue to keep a watchful eye,” Obama added. “Now is the time when opponents will try their hardest to pull this bipartisan effort apart so they can stop common-sense reform from becoming a reality. We cannot let that happen.” TheHill.com has more here.
Retired Gen. James E. “Hoss” Cartwright served as deputy chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and was part of President Obama’s inner circle on a range of critical national security issues before he retired in 2011.
The administration official said that Cartwright is suspected of revealing information about a highly classified effort to use a computer virus later dubbed Stuxnet to sabotage equipment in Iranian nuclear enrichment plants. The Washington Post has more here.
"Vigilance is required to ensure we do not slide into civil war," the Al-Azhar clerical institution said in a statement reported by state media. It blamed "criminal gangs" who attacked mosques for street violence. Clashes linked to the political tensions have killed five and wounded scores in recent days. Reuters.com has more here.
Come Monday, the Texas Legislature will reconvene in special session, and enacting far-reaching abortion limits is a top Perry priority.
“This is simply too important a cause to allow unruly actions of a few to stand in its way,” the Republican governor told the National Right to Life Convention in Dallas Tuesday. “And that is the reason I’ve announced that I’m bringing lawmakers back to Austin, Texas, to finish their business.” That includes banning most abortions after 20 weeks and approving related measures that could lead to the closure of most abortion clinics in Texas. Politico.com has more here.
Student Loan Rates Set To Double - The Senate is unlikely to strike a deal to prevent student loan rates from rising on July 1.
On Thursday, two groups of senators -- one a bipartisan group that includes Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Tom Coburn (R-OK), the other of just Democrats -- planned to release proposals to prevent rates from doubling from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent while Congress is taking a vacation for the July 4 holiday.
A group of Democrats -- Sens. Jack Reed (D-RI), Kay Hagan (D-NC), Tom Harkin (D-IA), Al Franken (D-MN), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) -- planned a press conference for Thursday afternoon to announce a plan for another one-year extension of current rates.
But neither is likely to come up for a vote on the floor before senators depart for that holiday. NBC News has more here.
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