Hat tip to Stacey at AZ Congress Watch for getting the scoop on a statement released by Congressman John Shadegg yesterday. http://www.azcongresswatch.com/?p=2879
You can read Shadegg’s entire statement here http://johnshadegg.house.gov/News/DocumentSingle.aspx?DocumentID=58756
This sets up a pretty interesting dynamic within the Arizona delegation. Shadegg is well-known for his consistent stand against illegal immigration. His A- grade is the highest lifetime score of Arizona delegation members (even higher than J.D. Hayworth) at Numbers USA http://grades.betterimmigration.com/view_list.php3?District=AZ&Category=0&Status=Career&Flag=1&VIPID=42 (Hayworth’s lifetime grade was C+ http://grades.betterimmigration.com/testgrades.php3?District=AZ05&VIPID=44&retired=1 ) and when Shadegg was Republican Policy Chairman in the House he was credited with provided a forum for hard-line anti-immigration members (Tancredo, Steve King and John Hostettler) to discuss their reasoning with Judiciary Chairman Sensenbrenner and Republican leadership in the House. The House immigration bill that passed in late 2005 was reportedly a direct result of those discussions.
Now, with Democrats in control, there is a sense that Conservatives are going to be left out in the cold. It is becoming more and more clear that a “comprehensive” immigration bill is headed to passage. The Senate, under Republican leadership, passed such a bill last year, and now that Democrats run the House, it is highly likely that such a bill will pass overwhelmingly on that side of the Capital.
Shadegg’s statement calling on the White House to reject the Kennedy bill gives conservatives some ammo to reach out to Senators and Congressmen to rally them to reject an automatic pathway to citizenship.
The inside game on this is pretty interesting as reported by the Washington Times in a story yesterday and another one today. http://www.washingtontimes.com/national/20070222-121742-6247r.htm and http://www.washingtontimes.com/national/20070222-111037-6694r.htm Senator Sam Brownback was a co-sponsor of the Senate bill last year, but now appears to be distancing himself from Kennedy and McCain as he mulls a presidential run. As reported in the story today:
But Senate aides said yesterday that Mr. Brownback has skipped or canceled meetings at which he was invited to discuss the bill with Mr. Kennedy and Sen. John McCain, Arizona Republican and co-author of the bill.
”He’s chosen not to be involved and canceled meeting after meeting,” said one Senate staffer with knowledge of negotiations. “He’s chosen to distance himself from a bill that he was an original co-sponsor of because of presidential politics.”
Closer to home, Senator Kyl, who will serve as Sen. McCain’s Arizona Chairman for his presidential run, http://www.azcentral.com/blogs/index.php?blog=350&title=kyl_is_mccain_s_arizona_chairman&more=1&c=1&tb=1&pb=1&blogtype= opposed the Senate bill. On the House side, Flake is well-known for his support of the Kennedy-McCain bill and Franks, Renzi and Shadegg oppose. And, Shadegg serves as one of McCain’s campaign whips in the House. http://www.azcentral.com/blogs/index.php?blog=350&title=shadegg_among_mccain_s_house_supporters_1&more=1&c=1&tb=1&pb=1&blogtype= Shadegg blasting the Senate bill that McCain is a part of crafting will likely make delegation meetings a little more interesting.
This is only the beginning of what will be a very heated debate for the next few months, and one in which we conservatives are likely on the losing end.