The Senate is doing something highly unusual today in the strictly scripted and tightly controlled Mitch McConnell era: it is beginning an open-ended debate on immigration and DACA legislation.
As Axios reports:
In the words of a senior Senate aide, Mitch McConnell will effectively tell his colleagues: “Listen boys and girls, you all have lots of different ideas about what should be done on immigration. So put your big boy and big girl pants on, and put your ideas on the floor for a vote. Do your best; try to get to 60 votes to pass a bill.”
POLITICO adds, McConnell’s immigration gamble:
Usually careful with his every move, the Senate majority leader is taking a gamble this week with his pledge for a free-for-all debate over the fate of hundreds of thousands of young undocumented immigrants.
No one knows the GOP leader’s endgame, nor how he personally prefers the stalemate over Dreamers be resolved. It’s highly unusual for a Senate majority leader, particularly one as calculating as McConnell, to bring a divisive issue to the floor with no clearly intended result in sight.
Even his top lieutenants aren’t sure whether McConnell would ultimately support a final immigration deal that can clinch the 60 votes needed to clear the Senate.