The Washington Post reports this morning that prospects for the Senate’s immigration package are dimming, due to House members’ concerns about November’s election:
Republican House members facing the toughest races this fall are overwhelmingly opposed to any deal that provides illegal immigrants a path to citizenship — an election-year dynamic that significantly dims the prospects that President Bush will win the immigration compromise he is seeking, according to Republican lawmakers and leadership aides.
Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) will not allow a vote on a House-Senate compromise that does not have the support of most GOP lawmakers or one that would undermine the reelection chances of his at-risk members, aides said. According to GOP lawmakers and strategists, about 75 percent of the 231 House Republicans are steadfastly opposed to the Senate bill or even a watered-down version of it.
The Post’s article cites poll’s that supposedly show strong support for the administration’s plan, but, as one House member says, “they must not be polling anyone in [my] District.”
The Post’s reporters clearly think it’s unfortunate that the House may be knuckling under to the wishes of the voters:
Many senators, by contrast, represent more diverse populations and are therefore more sensitive to the concerns of Hispanics. Moreover, only one-third of senators face reelection this fall, so it is easier for them to ignore the short-term Republican politics, which are dominated by concerns about any program that resembles amnesty for illegal immigrants.
The Post says “short-term Republican politics,” when what it means is, the will of the American people.