W.H. eyes unsure GOP on immigration

by
May 5, 2010

By CAROL E. LEE & KASIE HUNT, Politico

The White House is set to step up pressure on some key Republicans in hopes of winning support for comprehensive immigration reform.

But it’s shaping up to be a struggle, based on interviews with the senators President Barack Obama has approached on the issue.

The administration is starting with a pool of 11 Republicans who voted for immigration reform in 2006. Subtract a few who are dead-ends — such as John McCain, who faces a tough primary in Arizona — and that leaves the White House zeroing in on several others, including Dick Lugar, Judd Gregg and Lisa Murkowski and a couple of newcomers: Scott Brown and George LeMieux.

Each got a call from President Barack Obama from Air Force One two weeks ago. And last Wednesday, Obama stressed that without Republican support immigration reform is a nonstarter.

Next up, White House staff will reach out to the senators’ staffs to test out an outline of a Democratic proposal on immigration. Senate Democrats also have approached the White House about hosting an immigration summit to elevate the issue, an idea that came up during a meeting with immigration groups last Thursday, a person familiar with the meeting said.

Six other Republican senators voted for immigration reform four years ago — Bob Bennett, Sam Brownback, Susan Collins, Mitch McConnell, Olympia Snowe and George Voinovich — but here are the Top 5 the White House is focused on now:

Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0510/36786.html#ixzz0n3daEpQB

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