Senators John McCain, Michael Bennet, and Amy Klobuchar spotlight the ample areas of bipartisan agreement for a major bill.
The way John McCain and Michael Bennet talk about it, you'd be surprised immigration reform hasn't passed already.
"We have the opportunity to pass a broad-based bill that deals not just with one problem or two problem but takes on the entire of array in ways this touches our economy," said Bennet, a Democratic U.S. senator from Colorado, at an Atlantic conference in Washington Thursday. (Bennet is the brother of Atlantic Editor in Chief James Bennet.) "I do think you've got two parties that've got reasons to get this done."
And McCain, as usual, was colorful and blunt. A veteran of several failed attempts at reform, he offered one big explanation for why this time would be different.
"The climate has changed, American opinion has changed, elections have changed ... and I'm working with people who are effective," he said. "Chuck Schumer is effective. I hate him! But he's effective."
Of course, there's more to it, especially for Republicans like McCain, who along with Bennet is a member of the "Gang of Eight" senators working on a bipartisan proposal. The Arizonan pinpointed three reasons this is the time to get reform done. One is simple political math: As many Republicans seem to be realizing, the GOP will find it harder and harder to win elections if it continues to alienate Latino voters. A second is technological, he said, repeatedly citing drones and other technological advances developed to fight the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as useful tools for policing the border with Mexico more effectively.