Is immigration reform dead?

Senator Menendez just said something rather surprising about the immigration bill in the US Senate:

"The Gang of Eight immigration bill does not yet have a 60-vote majority in the Senate, according to one of its authors, Sen. Bob Menendez.

During an interview with Univision's Jorge Ramos, Menendez (D-N.J.) appeared confident that Congress will pass a comprehensive immigration reform bill. But he said the Senate bill's backers haven't yet cobbled together a large enough majority to avoid a potential filibuster.

"We don't currently have 60 votes identified in the Senate," he said during the interview with Ramos, which was conducted in Spanish for "Al Punto," Univision's Sunday public affairs show. "We need to add more votes on the floor." "  (ABC)

This is very interesting because there are 53 Democrats plus a couple of independents who usually vote with them in the US Senate.   All they need is 5 GOP Senators to get over the line.

My guess is that some of the "55 Democrats" must be having second thoughts about voting for this bill. 

I'm talking about Democrats running for reelection in states like North & South Dakota, Arkansas, Alaska, Louisiana, North Carolina,West Virginia & Virginia.

There is also the ObamaCare hangover.  I don't think that many of these Democrats want to explain another controversial vote on top of the aforementioned ObamaCare. 

Democrats will be facing an electorate paying higher premiums for health insurance and losing their coverage, or exactly the opposite of what Obama promised.  Add to this the mess with the exchanges as outlined by Sally Pipes at Forbes:

"Delays, wasteful spending, and cost overruns have already popped up. And it's becoming increasingly likely that the exchanges won't be ready by October 1, when they're supposed to open for enrollment. Mass confusion and excessive costs will result."

This is not the kind of electorate that wants another 1,000 page bill that no one really understands.

Add to this landscape an angry Tea Party and 2014 is starting to look a lot like 2010, or a year that most Democrats would rather forget.

Is immigration reform dead?  I hope not but the patient is weak. 

The mistake is writing these "comprehensive bills" rather than focus on areas where bipartisan support is strong, such as border security and a guest worker visa program.  Both of these would pass quickly and go a long way toward assuring the public about the order and giving people already here a chance to work legally in the US.

Again, trying to do it "comprehensively" produces a 1,000 page bill that no one really understands or can identify its costs.  Can you say ObamaCare and all of the unintended consequences popping up from that law?

The Congress should take immigration reform bit and bit and something sensible will happen.  The current version of immigration reform will have a hard time getting support from Democrats running for reelection.

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