Congress did not pass a final immigration reform bill in the last session. That means lawmakers will start over on a unified plan when the next session begins in January. As Chad Pergram reports from Capitol Hill, Texas Senator John Cornyn will have a different role in this effort when Congress reconvenes.
The imminent Democratic takeover of the Senate will dampen Cornyn’s voice on immigration policy. Texas’s junior Senator must surrender his gavel as Chairman of a key Senate Immigration Subcommittee. Cornyn bucked many of his Senate colleagues advocating a more stringent immigration reform plan similar to the one adopted by the House. But he believes leaders of both chambers should have tried to meld the bills in a conference committee.
“Clearly I think that the refusal to go to conference was a mistake. I think the American people expect immigration reform.”
And in a rare break with from Republican ranks, the reliably loyal Cornyn aimed fire at those in his party who successfully stymied the Immigration bill.
“The problem is some people felt like they benefited from doing nothing and then scoring political points in their election campaign. That turned out not so well in several notable instances.”
Many immigration experts believe the outcome of the midterm election could force the House and Senate together to fuse their bills into a final product that President Bush would be willing to sign into law. For Houston Public Radio, I’m Chad Pergram on Capitol Hill.