Bob Novak once again writes about the political side of immigration reform. He says that Ken Mehlman has warned Republicans on Capitol Hill that if legisltive deadlock on the budget resolution and immigration are not broken, the GOP will take a bath in the midterms:
By Robert Novak
May 6, 2006
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Republican National Chairman Kenneth Mehlman went to Capitol Hill last Tuesday to warn the party's House and Senate campaign staffers of dire consequences unless Republicans break the current legislative deadlock.
Mehlman stressed the necessity to pass a budget resolution and an immigration reform bill, dealing with two issues that seriously concern the Republican base.
Word circulated around Capitol Hill that Mehlman warned 45 seats could be lost in the House on Nov. 7. He told me that he did not mention that figure and, in fact, believes Republicans would retain control of the House if elections were held today. High-level party sources close to Mehlman estimate the GOP loss could be 25 seats under a worst-case scenario. A 15-seat gain would give the Democrats House control.
Am I missing something? Novak says that Mehlman views these issues as very important to the Republican base. Now Mehlman definitely IS much smarter than I am, so I know I am missing something.
Is there anyone in the Republican base who will be upset if the President does not get his way on immigration? Or does Mehlman believe that the only immigration bill that can get done is an enforcement-only bill, and that's the one he wants, and which the base will love?
And the budget resolution? OK, now I KNOW no one cares about the budget resolution. The budget resolution is nothing but a guideline to what the federal government is going to spend on the year. It's not even binding. No average voter cares about the budget resolution.
Now to the extent that 'the budget resolution' is shorthand for fiscal issues - earmark reform, tax cuts, spending levels, pork barrel projects, etc. - I see the importance of that, and I agree. People are definitely paying attention.
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