- Obama takes aim at ‘corporate deserters’
- Dick’s Sporting Goods lays off 478 PGA golf pros
- Senators: Cease-fire must allow Israel to defend against rockets, tunnels
- Sierra Leone doctor fighting Ebola catches disease
- Iraq welcomes Russian fighter jets, helicopter gunships into ISIL fight
- John McCain laments: Obama’s ‘self-pity … is really kind of sad’
- GOP offer to fix VA gives $10 billion in emergency funds
- Paul Ryan offers to repair U.S. economic safety net with a single grant stream
- Kim Jong-un builds bond with Putin: $250M Russia-backed addition to key port opens
- Pope Francis meets Meriam Ibrahim, a Sudanese woman sentenced to death
Bush may find an ally on immigration
Question of the Day
The Next Congress
Fourth of five parts
Immigration is the one major issue on which President Bush is likely to fare better next year if Democrats win control of Congress.
The issue is unfinished business to which all sides promise to return, after House Republicans this year prevented Mr. Bush from winning both a guest-worker program and citizenship rights for most illegal aliens.
Instead, House Republican leaders forced through a bill to construct 698 miles of fencing along the U.S.-Mexico border. Funding for the fencing and other border security measures will be the first test of the new Congress on immigration policy.
Democrats have an outside chance of taking complete control of Capitol Hill, but a better chance of winning one chamber, and in this series, The Washington Times is examining how such a transfer of power will affect U.S. policy and politics.
Neither House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, likely to be the speaker of the House if Democrats win that chamber, nor Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, the Democrats’ Senate leader, would commit this week to funding the fencing if they gain control of Congress.
“What Leader Pelosi has said in the past is that we need to do comprehensive reform, and the fence could be part of that reform,” said the California Democrat’s spokeswoman, Jennifer Crider.
Jim Manley, spokesman for Mr. Reid, said the Nevada Democrat is working toward “solutions that are tough and smart, not political legislation designed to make for good election-year sound bites.”
Republicans are questioning the Democrats’ commitment. Last week, on the day Mr. Bush signed the fencing into law, House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert issued a statement asking, “Would a Democrat majority support construction of a border fence?”
But Mr. Hastert won’t commit to spending for the entire fence, instead focusing on “operational control” that could include less fencing but other measures, such as more Border Patrol agents and vehicle barriers.
“He’ll commit to funding necessary to get operational control of the border, which goes far beyond a single line of fencing,” said Lisa C. Miller, spokeswoman for the Illinois Republican.
For his part, Senate Majority Whip Mitch McConnell, the Kentucky Republican likely to lead his party in the Senate with the retirement of Majority Leader Bill Frist, wants to see the funding through, his spokesman said.
“He sees border security as critical to our national and homeland security and believes the Congress should fund border security, including the border fence,” spokesman Don Stewart said.
By Michael Widlanski
Leveling the battlefield to aid terrorists enables evil to fight on
- 'We're coming for you, Barack Obama': Top U.S. official discloses threat from ISIL terrorists
- NAPOLITANO: What if our democracy is a fraud?
- Obama orders Pentagon advisers to Ukraine
- Hamas rejects Kerry's call for cease-fire; Fears grow others could join fight against Israel
- Evidence shows Russia firing artillery into Ukraine: Pentagon
- Norway expects imminent 'concrete threat' from ISIL terrorists 'within days'
- Tom Petty: 'No one's got Christ more wrong than the Christians'
- Cutler wins endorsement from gun control group
- Eugenie Bouchard pulls out of D.C.'s Citi Open
- Presidents of Honduras, Guatemala blame U.S. for border children crisis
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq