Immigration reform continues to advance in the Senate with the bill from the Gang of Eightwhich, up until now, has overcome good and bad amendments and Washington’s current political climate.
The cases involving the Internal Revenue Service, seizure of the AP’s phone records and the incident in Benghazi are jeopardizing President Obama’s legislative agenda, but so far, they have not affected the immigration bill. The goal of an overhaul, whatever its motivations, has inspired a stronger cohesiveness within the Gang than the divisiveness of the current controversies.
Moreover, these scandals could be beneficial for the reform to move forward, because they are distracting the attention of a sector of the conservative base that is particularly opposed to the legalization and focusing it on the White House, instead of it being focused on the immigration bill.
Nevertheless, this distraction won’t reach the Senate Judiciary Committee, where until now, the bipartisan agreement has survived, even though this week it will face another avalanche of amendments.
It has become increasingly clear that the success of the overhaul depends, for better or worse, on the Gang’s pact remaining intact. This is especially true given how hard it has been to achieve a bipartisan deal in the House of Representatives that has as many points of agreement as those obtained in the Senate.
As things now stand, speculations abound and there are many scenarios for the success and failure of the overhaul. However, the reform is steadily moving forward in its first big test.