Democrat Senator John Fetterman Floats Support for GOP Immigration Bill

By Jerry McConway, updated on March 4, 2024

Last week, both Donald Trump and Joe Biden went to visit the southern border.

Biden's speech slammed Republicans for not passing the bipartisan legislation that his administration had a hand in crafting, but Senator John Fetterman (D-PA) seems to like the version that came out of the House better, dealing a critical blow to Democrats.

Talking Points…
- Bipartisan immigration reform legislation in the Senate
- Fetterman likes the House version better
- Analysis

Senate Immigration Reform Legislation

The moment that Donald Trump said he did not like the legislation, it was doomed to failure. Lawmakers in both the House and Senate started to push back immediately. In contrast, more moderate lawmakers told everyone to pump the brakes until we saw the full context of the legislation.

When the text did get published, there were clearly some very good aspects of the law, but it also more or less codified everything that Secretary Mayorkas and Joe Biden have been doing over the last three-plus years with the border.

And while there were "emergency brakes" for the border, the limits that were posted to enable them were far above the norm. By the numbers in the bipartisan bill, we would be on a pace for about 1.8 million illegals to enter the country before the shutdown measures would be enacted. There were also provisions for the more than seven million migrants that have already entered the country to have a quicker path to citizenship, which did not sit well with most on the right.

Fetterman Likes House Bill Better

Speaker Johnson (R-LA) had already stated that he would not even put the Senate bill on the floor, but the House already had its version, which most Democrats in the Senate had already stated they would not support. There were a few that were interested, however, and that list just got extended after Fetterman hinted that he would support the House version if it made its way to the Senate.

During an interview with Fox News, Fetterman encouraged Republicans by stating that he was willing to vote for H.R. 2, which was the border security bill crafted by Republicans in the House. Several Republicans jumped all over the news, including Senator Mike Lee (R-UT), who offered to "shave my head in solidarity."

His comments also got the attention of Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX). Roy has been a major problem for Speaker Johnson, having repeatedly voiced his displeasure with the new Speaker, even suggesting that another motion to vacate was on the table if Johnson did not start delivering on promises made for him to get the gavel. Roy stated:

"The new and improved Fetterman can wear whatever he wants, if he keeps talking like that.

"I'm glad to see him talking about, 'Hey, there's some provisions in H.R. 2 that would actually do the job.'"


So, there is a catch to Fetterman supporting the Republican legislation, and my guess is that it will be a no-go for most Republicans.

Fetterman has stated that while he likes most of H.R. 2, he does not support the part of the bill that would end DACA, which is a major sticking point not only for Republicans in office but for most conservatives as well.

DACA is what has enabled considerable chain migration into this country, circumventing the normal "legal" procedures to enter the country with a path to citizenship. While Fetterman might get Republicans to agree to give current DACA recipients a free pass, that would be in exchange for ending the program. I feel pretty confident in saying that any legislation that would allow DACA to continue will be dead on arrival in a GOP-run House.

About Jerry McConway

Jerry McConway is an independent political author and investigator who lives in Dallas, Texas. He has spent years building a strong following of readers who know that he will write what he believes is true, even if it means criticizing politicians his followers support. His readers have come to expect his integrity.

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