Sen. Marco Rubio said the Senate's bipartisan immigration bill is ready to go as written, for the most part, except for a few minor changes that are needed during an interview on ABC's This Week. "It's an excellent starting point. And I think 95, 96 percent of the bill is in perfect shape and ready to go," Rubio said. "But there are elements that need to be improved." Rubio conceded some Republican criticisms about the bill's border security issues are valid and that there are "reasonable ways" to fix those problems. But Rubio wouldn't say whether he would vote for the bill if those fixes don't happen. "I don't really want to get involved in these hypotheticals and ultimatums about what I want," he said. Rubio wouldn't accept a reality where those border security changes don't make it into the bill. "The bottom line is a bill that does not have increased border security, which everyone now I think has conceded needs to happen -- I think the debate now is about what that border security provision looks like," he said. "And if we do that, this bill will have strong bipartisan support." Rubio went on to imply the bill would die if there are no border security changes made to the immigration bill. "If we fail, we're going to keep trying, because at the end of the day, the only way we're going to pass an immigration reform law out of the House and Senate so the president can sign it is, that it has real border security measures within it."
Sometimes parents don't see eye-to-eye. That's the case with Jeb Bush's presidential aspirations, he disclosed during an interview on ABC's This Week. It seems papa Bush thinks former Florida governor Jeb Bush should run while mama Bush thinks Jeb should spend 2016 on the sidelines. "I think we’ve got a split ballot amongst the Bush senior family. Pretty sure that’s the case," Bush said Sunday morning. Earlier this year, Barbara Bush said there have been "enough Bushes" in the White House. (See: the two Georges.) So this would seem to indicate daddy wants Jeb to follow in his footsteps. But Jeb wasn't ready to say whether or not he's made up his mind about running just yet. Instead, Jeb talked about his dad because, well, it's Father's Day. That's what you do. "He’s a humble guy," he said, before expressing his admiration for his father's ability to transfer to civilian life after leaving the White House. "I think my dad’s post-presidency, he didn’t miss a beat," Jeb said. "He didn’t get into any kind of ‘woe is me.’ He dusted himself off and led an incredible life since 1993."
Rep. Mike Rogers thinks Americans will come around on the NSA's surveillance program when they get a better understanding of how it works and learn about the "dozens" of terrorist attacks the program stopped. "As people get a better feeling that this is a lockbox with only phone numbers, no names, no addresses in it, we’ve used it sparingly, it is absolutely overseen by the legislature, the judicial branch and the executive branch, has lots of protections built in, if you can see just the number of cases where we’ve actually stopped the plot, I think Americans will come to a different conclusion than all the misleading rhetoric I’ve heard over the last few weeks," Rogers told Candy Crowley on CNN's State of the Union. The House Intelligence Committee chairman said he's working to declassify information on those attacks and that he may have new information as early as this week. "The reason they’re being careful is we want each of the instance that will be provided, hopefully early this next week, to be accurate as we can and not disclose a source or a method of how disrupted the attack exactly. We don’t want to draw a roadmap for the folks who are trying to kill Americans at home," Rogers said.
White House chief of staff Denis McDonough promised the President will expand his defense of the NSA surveillance program within the next few days during an appearance on CBS's Face the Nation. In the meantime, McDonough said the Presdient "does not" believe the NSA's gathering of phone meta-data violates people's privacy. "The president is not saying 'trust me,' the president is saying 'I want every member of Congress, on whose authority we are running this program, to be briefed on it,' to come to the administration with questions and to also be accountable for it," McDonough said. The chief of staff also said he has "no idea" where Snowden is and that the NSA whistleblower "surely" overstated the access NSA analysts have.
Sen. Lindsey Graham thinks the immigration reform bill must pass if the Republicans want to contend in 2016. "If we don’t pass immigration reform, if we don’t get it off the table in a reasonable practical way, it doesn’t matter who you run in 2016," Graham said on NBC's Meet the Press. "We’re in a demographic death spiral as a party, and the only way we can get back in good graces with the Hispanic community, in my view, is pass comprehensive immigration reform." But Graham isn't worried because he's extremely optimistic the bill will pass. "I think we’re going to have a political breakthrough that Congress is going to pass immigration reform. I think we’re going to get plus-70 votes, I’ve never been more optimistic about it,” the South Carolina Republican said.
Sen. Robert Menendez said Republicans need immigration reform to pass if they hope to ever get elected again on CNN's State of the Union. Menendez, one of the Gang of Eight responsible for drafting the bill, said Republicans may need to give up efforts to bolster the bill's border security measures if the bill is to pass. "What I cannot support, and what I believe the community cannot support at the end of the day is that we’re going to have triggers that can never be achieved in terms of border security as an impediment to the pathway to legalization and citizenship," Menendez said. The Democrat said demographic shifts in the last election and polls showing broad public support for reform should show Republicans they really have no choice in the matter. "I would tell my Republican colleagues, both in the House and the Senate, that the road to the White House comes through a road with a pathway to legalization. Without it, there will never be a road to the White House for the Republican Party," Menendez said. The Senator was also very confidant the bill will make it through both the Senate and the House fairly easily. "When we hit 60 votes, which we will, I have no doubt that other people will want to be on the right side of history, and that will send a very strong message to the House," he said.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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