Our sister site Townhall issued the post-mortem on this lame-duck session stunt that frankly, was only meant to hamstring the incoming Republican House Majority. The Republican elite is adept at working against itself as long as their preferred people maintain power.
After outcry from conservatives and Republican lawmakers who weren’t willing to betray the GOP’s commitment to the rule of law, legal immigration, and border security, an attempt to grant mass amnesty to DACA beneficiaries is, according to reporting on Wednesday night, dead.
Unsurprisingly, the fatally flawed legislative framework that was supposed to gin up support on both sides of the political aisle in the U.S. Senate did exactly the opposite as Republicans who limped across the midterm election finish line with barely a majority in the House and a loss in the Senate were not ready to hitch their names to a bill that was toxic among Republican voters.
The long shot bipartisan immigration deal led by Sens. Thom Tillis and Kyrsten Sinema is dead this Congress, sources say.
Sen. John Cornyn and other members of GOP leadership said there was scant Republican support for the plan, which had yet to be released as legislative text.
— Priscilla Alvarez (@priscialva) December 15, 2022
The 60-vote threshold needed to pass this Amnesty bill out of chambers to a floor vote would have been a stretch. Democrat Senators would demand a path to citizenship for the Dreamers and no deal on Title 42, which was supported in the framework. Republicans would demand beefed-up border security and an easier way to get rid of border crossers who did not meet asylum requirements. It was a game of Chinese fire drill in a car that was going nowhere.
The two senators who spearheaded this bill — the now-Independent Kyrsten Sinema (AZ) and North Carolina’s Thom Tillis — had their reasons to believe that this would be a feather in the cap of their careers. Sinema needs to look like a bipartisan leader who creates solid solutions to huge problems, especially since she is now politically a hot potato whose former party is out to remove her in two years. Tillis is not planning on running for re-election, and rumor has it that he plans to make a run for North Carolina governor when his senate term is up in 2026. So, Tillis has been playing “Senator bipartisan” on bills such as The Respect for Marriage Act, which was signed into law by Joe Biden on Tuesday, as well as the ill-conceived Safer Communities Act, the gun control legislation bill signed into law last Summer. A clear indicator that he has his eye on a higher prize is a recent puff piece in the Charlotte Observer where Tillis teased his “legislative philosophy.”
Tillis says in everything in Congress he looks to the long game, with implementation of a bill in mind. “I’m driven to look at future opportunities based on the body of work that I’ve done at this point,” Tillis said, “and there’s nothing that I’ve been involved in that I’ve regretted, and actually, I don’t think there’s anything I’ve been involved in that’s ever been repealed or substantially modified, so that means it has staying power.”
Apparently, Tillis has broken his streak, as this bipartisan atrocity quickly died. We will see whether he spends the next few years of his term trying to resurrect a dead corpse or trying to remove his fingerprints from its neck.