Senate majority whip Dick Durbin is trying to frame the upcoming immigration debate in the context of the Boston bombings. They would be prevented if the attacks happened after the bill is adopted, he argued on CNN's State of the Union. Durbin said better information exchanging between federal agencies could have helped tip off authorities to the Tsarnaev brothers' activities before the attacks were carried out and that the Senate's immigration bill fixes that. "There’s not enough coordination between these different agencies so that we know someone should not have been readmitted to the United States," Durbin said. "Our bill addresses that directly." He also briefly touched on the failed gun background check bill. He called it "sound policy" and said he hopes it gets brought back to the Senate soon, but cautioned a "change in political sentiment" would be required before it could pass. "We need to pick up five more votes, and that’s quite a task I might add as whip in the Senate," Durbin said.
Sen. John McCain thinks the immigration bill should maybe address people who overstay their international visas after it was revealed one of the three friends of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev arrested this week stayed in the country after his visa expired. "Shouldn’t we have procedures to also track down those people and enforce the laws of, when visas expire people should leave?" McCain asked on Fox News Sunday. "On the immigration reform bill, we should be looking at some of these issues as well." McCain is a member of the bipartisan Gang of Eight senators who drafted the original bill. McCain also said he hasn't seen a "coherent plan" for closing Guantanamo Bay yet. "There has been no coherent plan presented to the Congress of, what we do with these individuals? And one of them is not to send them back into the fight where they can kill more Americans," McCain said.
Sen. Patrick Leahy told NBC's Meet the Press he thinks the immigration bill has a good chance of passing. "I think it can," Leahy said. "I think the so-called Gang of Eight — four Democrats, four Republicans, across the political spectrum — deserve an enormous amount of credit. And I think we can get it passed." The Senate will hold a "markup" on the bill this week, and Leahy said he's going to propose a provision to include same-sex couples. Leahy doesn't think adding that would kill the bill. "We’ve had about 10 different things that people have said will kill it," he said. "The fact is a lot of people want to kill the immigration bill no matter what. We will have votes on this. People can vote for or against any one of these amendments."
Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani praised the Boston bombing investigation and said people shouldn't be surprised by homegrown terrorism during his appearance on Meet the Press. "I think the investigation since the time of the bombing has been excellent," Giuliani said. "I think that unfortunately there’s an awful lot of signals that were missed before then." Giuliani compared the Boston bombings to the London terror attacks to explain why we shouldn't be surprised the suspects didn't come from away. "We shouldn’t claim surprise. This has been going on since 2005, 2006. I mean, the attack in London in 2005 was homegrown terrorists in London," he said.
Sen. Peter King is hesitant to arm the Syrian rebels because he fears doing so could strengthen Al Qaeda, he said on State of the Union. "Al Qaeda elements have a lot of control within the rebel movement," King said. "Whatever arming we do – obviously [Syrian President Bashar] Assad is evil, and everyone’s interested he go. But if we are going to arm the rebels, we have to make sure that those arms are not going to end up in the position of Al Qaeda supporters, nor at the end game is Al Qaeda going to be in a position to take over this movement."
Former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson thinks we could be heading towards a Joe Biden vs. Hillary Clinton grudge match for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016. Yep, Richardson said on ABC's This Week that Biden won't just step aside if Clinton decides to run. He'll stick with it and lose honorably, instead. (Just kidding, Joe, you'll put up a fight.) "I think he would run," Richardson said. "Hillary Clinton would be formidable, no question about it. But I’ve known Biden over the years. He is somebody who's always wanted to be president. He’s got the eye of the tiger. He’s going to all of these events. You see it in the speeches. I was with him Friday morning. I think there could be a faceoff." But don't let his guessing about Biden make you think he doesn't know the uphill battle the Vice President would face should that fight happen. "Obviously, Secretary Clinton is a formidable candidate, who not only is appealing to the Democratic base, but is appealing to a Republican base that acknowledges the great work she did as secretary of State."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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