Immigration Battle: GOP House roadshow starts on Senate bill they want to kill or change. Ted Kennedy, Luis Gutierrez push back today.

SHARE Immigration Battle: GOP House roadshow starts on Senate bill they want to kill or change. Ted Kennedy, Luis Gutierrez push back today.
SHARE Immigration Battle: GOP House roadshow starts on Senate bill they want to kill or change. Ted Kennedy, Luis Gutierrez push back today.

There’s a standoff in Congress over immigration.

The story so far: The House and Senate passed very different immigration bills. The usual procedure is for the next step to be negotiations between a small number of House and Senate members to work out a compromise bill which both chambers could accept.

In this case, the House GOP leaders took an unusual step–they are holding hearings on the Senate bill. Today there is a hearing in San Diego on border security and Friday another will be held in Laredo, Texas. To counter this, Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.), the Senate Judiciary Chairman, is holding his own hearing in Philadelphia today to draw attention to the Senate bill which includes a guest worker program.

While Republicans are divided–President Bush supports the Senate approach, which includes a guest worker program and a plan to legalize the status of millions of illegal immigrants in the U.S.–Democrats are mostly united over the Senate bill.

Today, Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.) and Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) leaders on House and Senate legislative efforts, hold a conference call on the need for the Senate approach.

The strategy of Specter and the Democrats is not to give a free media shot to the House GOP hearings today.

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