The Hill seems to have buried the news in this write-up of Wednesday’s Republican Study Committee meeting on immigration. Sens. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., Mike Lee, R-Utah, Ted Cruz, R-Texas, Rand Paul, R-Ky., and Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., all made presentations to House members at the meeting, with Rubio making the pitch for the path-to-citizenship bill he authored with Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.
“Lawmakers described the meeting as an ‘airing of ideas’ rather than a debate, but Rubio and his allies received confirmation — if any was needed — that conservatives in the House remain skeptical if not outright opposed to the border security element of the Senate bill,” the Hill reports. “I can tell you that the bill as currently structured isn’t going to pass in the House, and I think it’s going to struggle to pass in the Senate,” Rubio said, repeating a line he has used many times before.
But the real news is a Rubio quote at the very end of the article. “I’m not in a position to tell the House what they can or should do,” Rubio said. “This issue can be handled in separate bills, but ultimately it must be handled comprehensively. It doesn’t have to be one bill.” (Emphasis added.)
This appears to be the first time Rubio has said he’d be fine with a House approach that addressed immigration reform through separate bills as opposed to one piece of legislation, like the one he wrote with Schumer.
For those who believe Rubio is conspiring with Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, on a poison pill amendment that would kill the Senate bill, this statement would seem to suggest he is preparing to embrace the House’s immigration efforts as a backup option.