In 2013, after months of drafting, hearings and debate, the United States Senate passed a comprehensive immigration reform bill by the staggering vote of 68-32.
FoxNews, including Trump guru Sean Hannity, provided the political space for Republicans to join Democrats.
The bill died because then-Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) was more concerned with his own job as Speaker than he was in solving a problem for 12 million residents, and for society as a whole. He would not allow a vote on the bill. Current House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) favored the bill.
Other than feeding at the public trough, nothing is as important to Trump as his wall. In an attempt to make it more palatable, he even suggest installing solar panels on it.
Give it to him. In exchange, just pass the 2013 bill. It has already been completely vetted and debated in the Senate. It went through “regular order,” unlike anything the Republican Congress has tried to do.
Indeed, amend the 2013 bill to include the wall and $18 billion, and the legislation is done.
Trump would go for it. He has no capacity to resist instant gratification.
If Trump goes for it, will the House balk again? Many Republicans will vote against it, but the Speaker was for it a few years ago, and he is going to retire anyhow. Bring it to the floor, and there must be at least 30 Republicans who will vote for it because Trump wants it.
Are 30 Republicans going to deny Trump his greatest victory? I think not.
Do I mind giving Trump a victory? Yes, because he is unfit to be president, and this may make it more difficult to get rid of him. But, that is very hard to weigh, and the need to resolve status for 12 million of our residents is too compelling.
Moreover, his crimes are quite separate from this.
Chuck and Nancy should trundle over to the White House with this proposal. They should emphasize (and show Trump the clips) that Hannity supported the principle. They should wrap it in all the superlatives—biggest, best, most historic—that Trump loves hearing and, in this case, would have the unique (for Trump) virtue of being true.
The stars are aligned.