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The two senators both represent border states but couldn’t be further apart on immigration. Feinstein hopes to pass a “clean” bill to enshrine protections for young immigrants threatened by deportation; Cruz warned that Republicans would lose Congress if he or she provided “amnesty” to the same people.
But that might be the point: Cruz and Feinstein making the effort to hash out a compromise that shields families from being separated and will win a powerful majority inside the Senate. If both these, of the people, should come to terms with a deal, there’s certainly no basis for anyone from the chamber to vote against it, their colleagues reason.
“This is an issue that everyone, it doesn’t matter what end with the political spectrum you are, believes has to be fixed. Ultimately, commemorate strange bedfellows,” said Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), who attended a bipartisan meeting on Wednesday that included Cruz and Feinstein. “Dianne’s a longtime legislator. There’s no doubt that that Sen. Cruz is interested when you get this matter solved.”
Feinstein and Cruz are ideological and stylistic opposites. The 47-year-old Cruz speaks within a lawyerly but mischievous manner and spent years enraging colleagues from all parties with antagonistic tactics. Since losing to Donald Trump in 2016, however, Cruz, has morphed to a more collaborative and agreeable figure.
The 84-year-old Feinstein speaks formally though sometimes from the cuff. First elected for the Senate in 1992, the onetime San fran mayor has developed a brand being a dealmaker within the chamber, despite her liberal leanings on gun control and immigration.
Both senators are up for reelection this holiday season. Even though they’re heavily favored to win, they’ve each seized a way to help other upon an important issue and burnish their bipartisan cred concurrently. Feinstein is being challenged from the left by state Senate President Kevin de Leon, and Cruz will face liberal Democratic Rep. Beto O’Rourke.
“Ted Cruz running for reelection is actually a different person than Ted Cruz running for president. At this point, I feel it is just a welcome change,” said Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.).
Whether they might strike a proposal and prevent getting slowed down because of the broader immigration believe that has bedeviled Congress for more than a decade is a second matter. President Trump took some pressure from Capitol Hill this week together with decision to quit the concept of separating families. But his executive order is expected being challenged problem and potentially be thrown into Congress to put in writing a different law preventing the practice.
Cruz and Feinstein each have introduced their unique bill to deal with the whole family separation issue, and so they take divergent approaches. Cruz’s plan will allow asylum-seeking families to get detained together while expediting court hearings, a concern for Democrats; Feinstein’s legislation is a return to what are the GOP calls a “catch-and-release” policy that conservatives loathe. A 3rd bill, created by Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), is related to Cruz’s bill but codifies exceptions into a 1997 settlement that Democrats argue would bring on indefinite detention.
During a gathering in Sen. Susan Collins’ (R-Maine) office on Wednesday, senators within both parties discussed requiring the utilization of ankle bracelets to monitor families which have been caught crossing the border illegally. To date, Cruz and Feinstein don’t appear to obtain consented to much other than to prevent meeting as being the issue wends its way from the courts. Producing a bill remains a good shot.
Still, Cruz says there is “considerable common” ground with Feinstein about limiting the scope within the immigration debate. And Feinstein says the 2 have “come a good ways” using their viral tit-for-tat 5yrs ago.
“There are normally issues about what both parties have real and significant differences," Cruz said. But "everyone agrees the best place for the children has been their parents. There should really be a bipartisan solution."
“Our job is always to play the role of constructive and solve problems. And … you typically work together with people … who show interest,” Feinstein said. “He could have some different views than Concerning. That work well two ways. The secret is to take a seat and work it out, and that is exactly what we’re aiming to do.”
Still, we have a big trust gap forwards and backwards parties. Democrats worry how the GOP will place a Republican-only bill ending separations up for that vote and after that blame Democrats for voting against it.
And Republicans suspect Democrats looking to utilize family separation issue to galvanize their voters inside the midterms, plus they want the protection to sink the president and also the GOP.
“Sen. Feinstein seems sincere. And that i know Sen. Tillis and Sen. Cruz are sincere. And i believe there’s a simple deal to be made. Sen. Schumer doesn’t are encouraging them, he definitely seems to be discouraging them,” said Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas).
A source accustomed to Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer’s thinking said they’re encouraging Feinstein and various Democrats to partner with Republicans on legislation.
But success still is a ways off. Most Democrats hope to force Trump to keep your distance even more from his “zero tolerance” border policies. And Republicans aren’t all united behind Cruz’s plan, with a few preferring Tillis’ approach because it makes fewer sweeping changes to asylum laws.
Moreover, Trump’s moves seem to be reminiscent of the Senate’s last immigration debacle. Obama ended the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program and punted it to Congress, which failed in February to approve protections for people young immigrants.
If recent history may be a guide, the identical can happen on family separation, an element that elicits similar public sympathy but tend to prove just as intractable. The collaboration of two lawmakers whorrrre diametrically opposed on just about everything else, however, offers some senators that has a glimmer of hope.
“Let’s see what we are able to do,” said Sen. Angus King (I-Maine.). “Think of voting to get a Feinstein-Cruz bill!”