"Frist has not ruled out a guest-worker program. But conservatives' grumbling about the president's program found a Senate voice yesterday when Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) announced that he will not accept such a program until 'we have proven without a doubt that our borders are sealed and secure.'"
Elisabeth Bumiller of the New York Times tees up the immigration debate through the White House lens by looking at -- you guessed it -- the President's political dilemma caused by the issue. LINK
"He has lost control of his own party on the issue, as many Republicans object to his call for a temporary guest-worker program, insisting instead that the focus be on shutting down the flow of illegal immigrants from Mexico. It is not clear how much help he will get from Democrats in an election year. . . "
". . . In short, Mr. Bush is facing another test of his remaining powers as president." President Bush's call for debate "in a civil way" has been viewed by "groups on both sides of the debate" as pointed "at those who want better enforcement and oppose a guest-worker plan," write Charles Hurt and Stephen Dinan of the Washington Times LINK
Patriot Act politics:
The Boston Globe's Charlie Savage picks up on a "signing statement" that accompanied President Bush's approval of the Patriot Act renewal. LINK
"In the statement, Bush said that he did not consider himself bound to tell Congress how the Patriot Act powers were being used and that, despite the law's requirements, he could withhold the information if he decided that disclosure would, 'impair foreign relations, national security, the deliberative process of the executive, or the performance of the executive's constitutional duties.'"
What is it with the Boston Globe actually paying attention to these signing statements??!!??
Over to you, Sen. Feingold.
Politics of abortion:
Forget about that long road to the United States Supreme Court. The Sioux Falls Argus Leader reports that an effort may be announced today by an abortion rights group in South Dakota to gather the 16,000-plus signatures needed to get the recently signed South Dakota abortion ban law on the ballot for South Dakota voters to approve or reject this November. LINK
The message coming out of Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Sen. Lindsey Graham's (R-SC) trip to China is that the Chinese must revalue their currency or face a hefty 27.5% tariff on imports to America, writes Calum MacLeod of USA Today. LINK
Bush Administration and agenda:
Keying off of a recent complaint filed by the Alliance for School Choice, the Wall Street Journal's ed board raps Education Secretary Margaret Spellings for handing out exemptions or looking the other way instead of enforcing the provisions of No Child Left Behind which are supposed to give students at failing schools the option to attend better schools within the district.
"A Government Accountability Office report from 2004 found that some three million children in 5,300 schools nationwide were eligible for choice under NCLB, but only about 1% were exercising the option."
While China views Hu Jintao's April 20 visit to Washington, DC as a "state visit," the White House views it as just a "visit" and instead of having a state dinner, the Chinese and US presidents will just have lunch, reports Bloomberg's Janine Zacharia. LINK