This fight could shape up to be the nastiest of the next three years ahead of the Presidential campaign:
WASHINGTON — Senator Marco Rubio, Republican of Florida, aggressively pushed back Tuesday against a Heritage Foundation report that estimated new immigration legislation would cost taxpayers $6.3 trillion by using the foundation’s longstanding support for dynamic scoring — which takes into account projected economic growth when determining the cost of legislation — as a cudgel against it.
“Heritage, I think, is the king of dynamic scoring, and in many respects we’ve advocated for dynamic scoring here because of the positions that they’ve taken,” Mr. Rubio, a chief author of the legislation, told reporters. “They are the only group that’s looked at this issue and reached the conclusion they’ve reached. Everybody else who has analyzed immigration reform understands that if you do it, and we do it right, it will be a net positive for our economy.”
The Heritage Foundation analysis released Monday found that the immigration legislation, which offers a pathway to citizenship for the 11 million illegal immigrants already in the country, would produce a “lifetime fiscal deficit” of at least $6.3 trillion — an amount calculated by assuming that immigrants would receive $9.4 trillion in government benefits and services, while paying only $3.1 trillion in taxes.
Rubio’s not wrong, factually. If anything he understates the case of it being a net positive. Immigration has, and always will be, the single biggest economic engine for the American economy. Seal the borders, you seal our fate as a banana republic.
So why could this be a popcorn moment for liberals?
Well, let me come in through the back door.
Mark Sanford won an election Tuesday to replace Tim Scott as the Representative from South Carolina’s 1st District. Scott was named to replace outgoing Senator Jim DeMint. Jim DeMint took the post as head of the Heritage Foundation.
So there are a LOT of irons in this fire, not least of which is the circle that gets completed when you consider it was DeMint who encouraged Rubio to run in the first place and shepherded him into the Senate. They remain close friends to this day.
So you have apprentice versus Sith lord, in other words, with a bunch of ancillary people watching to decide which side to choose.
That Rubio will introduce the legislation to the Senate is undoubted. It will be very interesting to see if he gets filibustered or not. My instinct says no, but there are an awful lot of Republicans, Inc. who believe immigration needs to be stopped.