Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) assailed President Barack Obama’s attempts to find other Republican senators willing to support immigration reform this year, calling the effort a “raw display of partisanship.”
“I wonder if the president is reaching out to Democratic senators too?” Graham said in a statement provided to POLITICO. “I believe there are at least a double-digit number of Democratic senators who would not support comprehensive immigration reform with a pathway to citizenship today.”
Graham has been one of the lead Republican negotiators on immigration, but has not been in the middle of the White House outreach, and was venting his frustration.
He went on to list nine Democratic senators he believed wouldn’t support immigration reform: Jim Webb (Va.), Ben Nelson (Neb.), Max Baucus (Mont.), Robert Byrd (W.Va.), Claire McCaskill (Mo.), Jon Tester (Mont.), Byron Dorgan (N.D.), Mark Pryor (Ark.), and Jeff Bingaman (N.M.).
“They did not support comprehensive immigration reform in 2007, but have supported stronger border security,” Graham said. “There is just not the appetite — on either side of the aisle — for this issue right now.”
Two others — Blanche Lincoln (Ark.) and Kent Conrad (N.D.) — support toughening border security first, Graham said.
Graham walked away from negotiations with Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) on the immigration bill after Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid made clear he would push to move the legislation this year.
Filed under: South Carolina |