McConnell yesterday on immigration reform:
What I think we ought to do is bust it up. Pass as much of it as we can, starting with border security…The Speaker would have to give you his take on it, but I would bust it up if I were setting the agenda in the Senate…I don’t know what the fate of the provisions that Senate Democrats are interested in would be. But put on the desk whatever we can get to him that improves the legal immigration system and particularly strengthens the border, which we have not yet done.
A familiar song. Then the president says (as he did a year ago),
If they want to chop that thing up into five pieces, as long as all five pieces get done, I don’t care what it looks like. What we don’t want to do is simply carve out one piece of it…[and] leave behind some of the tougher stuff that still needs to get done.
Question for the president: If you feel so comfortable seeing it chopped up, how do you guarantee that all five pieces reach your desk? We all know what that one “carve out” is. Obama must have known that a major reason for chopping it up was the difficulty of seeing a path to citizenship come out of the House. Still, he was perfectly willing to see it broken up. What am I missing? Would he actually sign four pieces and risk not getting the one liberals really, really want? After signing four, how do you guarantee that the fifth one gets signed? Do you just wait till you have five sitting on your desk all at once?