Sen. Graham Says President Obama’s Proclaimed ‘Unwavering’ Commitment to Immigration Reform‬‪ ‘Doesn’t Pass the Smell Test’

By Matt Loffman

Mar 15, 2010 10:32am

On Thursday President Obama met with Sens. Chuck Schumer, D-NY, and Lindsey Graham, R-SC, who are working on a bipartisan immigration reform bill. Afterwards, the president said his commitment to resolving the issue is "unwavering."

On "This Week" Sunday, Graham took issue with that,

"The idea that the president has‬‪been unwavering on immigration doesn't really pass the smell test," Graham said. "One line in the State of the Union that was unnoticeable is not‬‪ 'unwavering.'  A hastily called meeting Thursday because of a rally next‬‪ weekend is not 'unwavering,' is CYA."

Graham said that "unwavering is sending two Cabinet‬‪ members over to the House and the Senate two hours a day for two months‬‪ with dozens of senators trying to write a bill.‬‪ That's what President Bush did.  President Obama has not been‬‪ unwavering on immigration reform.  He has pretty much ignored it because‬‪ he has been consumed by health care."

Graham called Schumer a "great partner" and said the two would soon release a‬‪ document "about our way forward on immigration."

"President Obama: lead," Graham said. "You‬‪ write an…immigration reform bill.  You do the heavy‬‪ lifting.  You put together a comprehensive immigration reform package. ‬‪You bring it to the Senate and House and see how many Democrat and‬‪ Republican supporters you can get. ‬‪All you have done is talk about what we should do, now is the time‬‪ to lead."

Graham recalled that during the previous effort in the Senate, then-Senator Obama "was part of the deal to create the bill.  He was in‬‪ the photo op.  When it got to the floor, he introduced an amendment to‬‪ sunset the temporary worker…program‬‪, which was part of an overall deal.  And as you remember, my views of‬‪ him were not very good at that time.‬‪ He undercut the grand bargain."

-jpt

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