Fox News senior political analyst Brit Hume warned Friday that the “Gang of Eight” efforts to pass immigration reform could be in trouble not only in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives, but also in the Democratic-controlled Senate as well.
Hume said by rejecting all efforts to beef up border enforcement, the bill was being condemned to “a death sentence.”
“I think the bill is in trouble,” he said on Laura Ingraham’s radio program, “And it would in trouble whether they had a gang in the House or not, and will continue to be in trouble unless or until the enforcement portion of this is stiffened to the point where people look at this and say, ‘OK, if we go for this we can really count on the border being properly monitored and indeed sealed if necessary.’ Until that happens, I don’t think the bill can pass the House of Representatives, perhaps not even the Senate.”
“But even if it does pass the Senate, it’s going to be in trouble in the House,” he continued. “If the Senate wants to reject all the amendments to toughen the enforcement provisions, they’re just condemning the bill to a death sentence. That’s my take on it — that those provisions that were talked about have turned out to be a lot weaker than was advertised. And that’s why you see Marco Rubio saying, ‘Well, let’s improve it, let’s fix it.’ But as you pointed out, amendments intended to do so have not succeeded. I think the bill is in deep trouble.”
And although Rubio has been an ambassador for the legislation, making his case to many conservative outlets, if he continues to fail at strengthening the enforcement measures, Hume predicted Rubio may oppose it in the end.
“Look, he’s trying to get a good bill passed,” Hume said. “Chuck Schumer is the key player on the Senate side. Schumer has said, and I took notice when he said it, that the Democrats are not looking for an issue here. They really want to see a bill pass. Well, Rubio keeps pushing. My guess is that he will continue to support amendments of the kind that would sharpen the enforcement procedures. If they don’t pass, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Rubio vote against the final bill. But I think he thinks it’s important to get a bill. I think it’s important to get a bill, too. But I think there’s no point in getting a bill that can’t pass.”
Ingraham questioned why Rubio is putting himself forward on something that can’t pass, and Hume defended Rubio’s efforts.
“He’s trying to lead on immigration reform and find something that can successfully get the job done and pass both houses,” Hume said. “I don’t think he deserves criticism for that.”