Pick Up That Phone And Take Your Party Back On Illegal Immigration

According to the Washington Times, a lot of senators, undoubtedly because they’re terrified of the reaction they’ve gotten from their constituents, are keeping their powder dry on this illegal immigration bill,

“Fewer than 20 senators are publicly committed to supporting the immigration deal that hits the Senate floor today while nearly 40 are already opposed or have serious concerns, underscoring how difficult it will be for President Bush and his allies to craft a coalition that can pass the bill.

A Washington Times survey of Senate offices and public comments after the deal was announced Thursday found an additional 32 senators who said they cannot even take a position yet — a result of the fact that the deal was written in secret by a dozen senators and the Bush administration, wasn’t even finalized until yesterday and still hasn’t reached many Senate offices.

…Opposition comes from the left and the right — and both sides are vowing to offer amendments to try to move the bill. What is not clear is whether the two sides will be willing to team up to scuttle the bill.

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The Times survey found 17 senators supporting the current bill and another two who lean toward supporting it; 17 who oppose it; 22 who have concerns; and 32 senators who are still reviewing it. Nine senators’ positions couldn’t be determined, and Sen. Tim Johnson, South Dakota Democrat, has been absent all year because of a medical situation.

…Republicans are hearing — in some instances, quite loudly — from their core voters how much those voters dislike the bill.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, South Carolina Republican, was booed at his state’s Republican convention this weekend for his support for the bill, while presidential hopeful former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, was cheered for saying he opposed it — even though Massachusetts Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, the top Democratic negotiator, says Mr. Romney used to back it.

Across the state line in Georgia, Sen. Saxby Chambliss, one of the secret negotiators, was also booed at that state’s Republican convention, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Meanwhile, Republicans’ chief negotiator in the closed-door sessions, Sen. Jon Kyl of Arizona, wrote a column for the Arizona Republic newspaper yesterday saying he won’t support the bill if major changes are made during the floor debate.”

These Republicans senators are shaky, scared, and looking for an out. If we continue to bring relentless pressure to bear on them, they’ll find excuses not to support the bill. There will be some minor amendment to the bill and next thing you know it’ll be, “I can’t support this bill with that in there,” and they’ll start peeling off.

But, if they’re not hearing from their constituents every day, they’ll delude themselves into thinking that the passion behind the issue is starting to drain away. Don’t let that happen!

Pick up that phone, write that email, send that fax — heck, do all three if you’re so inclined.

But, whom do you contact?

#1) If you have a Republican senator, pick up the phone and call him or her. You can get the numbers and/or email addresses of your home state senators here.

#2) Call the National Republican Senatorial Committee at (202) 675-6000 and let them know that you will not support the reelection of any senator in 2008 who votes for the amnesty bill in the Senate.

#3) Call the Republican National Committee at (202) 863-8500 (option 1) and let them know you will not support any candidate in 2008 who votes for the amnesty bill in the Senate (Incidentally, a lot of you must be doing this already because when I called about 10 minutes ago, the mailbox was full.)

#4) Call Mitch McConnell’s office at (202) 224-2541 and tell them that you expect him to resign as Senate Minority Leader if this bill passes.

#5) Call Trent Lott’s office at (202) 224-6253 and tell them that you expect him to resign as Minority Whip if this bill passes.

Again, if you don’t want to call them, email them or fax them. But also remember to be POLITE, but firm.

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