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Report: Senators Nearing Deal on Amnesty Bill (UPDATE)

According to multiple reports, Sens. Bob Corker (R-TN) and John Hoeven (R-ND) are nearing what Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) called “a key moment in this effort to pass” the Gang of Eight’s amnesty bill. Graham said, “This is sort of the defining 24 to 36 hours.”

What is the magical mystery agreement?

National Journal reports details are “sketchy” but the deal “started off as an alternative” to Sen. John Cornyn’s (R-TX) RESULTS Amendment, which Heritage Action opposed because it “fails to solve the enforcement problems in the underlying bill” and “would serve as political cover for them to justify their support for the Gang of Eight’s amnesty.”

Text of the amendment is not yet available, but Politico reports the “emerging deal would soften the strict 90 percent border apprehension trigger requested by some Republicans.” Not surprisingly, Corker would not confirm the rumors.

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) was equally coy, telling The Hill, “I’m not talking about any specifics.” Schumer’s non-rebuke is notable though because he quickly dismissed Cornyn’s amendment earlier this month, calling it “unacceptable.”

Make no mistake, if Corker-Hoeven has Schumer’s blessing, there is little doubt it would be more ineffective than the Cornyn amendment, which the Heritage Foundation dubbed the NO RESULTS amendment.

From what we know right now, Corker-Hoeven is about counting votes, not preventing a repeat of the failures of 1986. As reported by the Associated Press, Hoeven acknowledges his “whole effort has been to build a bipartisan group that will support the bill. “That’s what this is all about,” he said.

As Heritage Action’s CEO Michael A. Needham explained last week, amnesty cannot be improved:

Unless the Gang of Eight is willing to reconsider their legalization-first approach, their legislation is beyond repair. Amnesty cannot be improved, and amendments that change the bill’s post-legalization language are simply talking points disguised as policy. Heritage Action will oppose amendments that, if adopted, will serve as political cover for those Senators seeking to justify their support for amnesty.

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Sen. Lindsey Graham says it "is sort of the defining 24 to 36 hours" of #amnesty debate.

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