From Tallahassee, Florida, comes a peek at the kind of wriggling strategery we can expect from the Republican Party on immigration reform over the next, what, decade or so, where the need to embrace reform becomes an increasingly obvious must in the rural and border states where enormous immigrant labor populations live as inconspicuously as possible among the party’s older white voter-base. The Miami Herald reports that Republican Governor Rick Scott signed a bill allowing undocumented immigrant students to qualify for in-state tuition. How did that happen? “Crafty legislators tied a tuition freeze to the more controversial dreamer provision,” the Herald reported. “The governor focused on the general tuition-control portion of the legislation” and signed the bill “quietly” this week, denying lawmakers “the opportunity to take a victory lap since he chose not to hold a formal bill signing like he has for other priorities.”
Meantime in Texas, home of 2016 presidential hopefuls Ted Cruz and Rick Perry: “Republican delegates Saturday returned the state party back to endorsing a hard-line stance on immigration — one that essentially guts a call for a guest worker program and endorses a prohibition on sanctuary cities along with ending in-state tuition for undocumented immigrants. ‘What kind of message is that for Hispanic voters?’ asked Norm Adams, a Houston-based immigration advocate who pushed for the guest worker plank. ‘As far as I’m concerned we’ve moved the party back 10 years.’”
Wisconsin’s Republican Attorney General wanted US District Judge Barbara Crabb to stay the ruling she issued overturning the state’s gay marriage ban. She said no. So gay couples in America’s Dairyland are getting married and will continue to get married until or if an appeals court puts the brakes on the celebrations. The Journal Sentinel.
Look at the states not expanding Medicaid. They’ll continue to pay higher health insurance premiums to care for the uninsured. Because liberty! Via the Pew Center.
Republican-majority Salt Lake County in Utah is not having any of the state’s ideological resistance to Medicaid expansion. The council is pleading with state lawmakers to look at the numbers. They say that, without the expansion, county taxpayers will be on the hook for hundreds of millions of dollars in medical bills. “There are 50,000 people in Salt Lake County who would benefit from Medicaid expansion,” said Councilman Sam Granato, according to the Salt Lake Tribune. “This is absurd and unconscionable to me.” The Trib reports that rejecting the federal proposal means $250 million in funding earmarked for Utah would go to other states that accepted Medicaid expansion.
One of the main reasons Republican politicians over the last few years have lockstep embraced absurd anti-science climate-change denialism is the Supreme Court’s decision in the Citizens United case. Jeffrey Toobin at the New Yorker: “That decision revolutionized the law of campaign finance; what is less well recognized is that it transformed the climate-change debate, too.”
Dana Milbank at the Washington Post on a dubious record set by the House GOP:
“The House Rules Committee on Tuesday plans to approve two more ‘closed rules’ for debate — a procedure to block lawmakers from offering amendments on the House floor — bringing the total in the current Congress to 62. This will break the record of 61 closed rules set during Nancy Pelosi’s 2007-2008 Congress — and John Boehner’s House still has seven months in which to run up the score.”
And yet, Colorado Congressman Cory Gardner — the “tenth most conservative member of the House” who joined with his fellow caucus members to shut down the government last August as catastrophic floods ousted his constituents from their homes and ruined their livelihoods — is now pitching himself to voters as a uniter who can “get along” with lawmakers across the aisle to “solve problems.”