Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., is set to give his complete support to a wide-ranging immigration bill, going so far as offering to be the public face of the legislation, Politico reports
In doing so, Rubio is taking a calculated risk.
The bill will most likely cause cracks within the Republican Party, but Rubio and his supporters hope the move will set him up as the favored GOP candidate in 2016.
If the move backfires, however, Rubio could become a pariah to conservatives.
With the bill expected to be released next week, Rubio is planning a media blitz to promote the legislation by hitting the Sunday talk shows this weekend.
His plan is to garner public support for the sweeping immigration bill that will be a main focus of Capitol Hill’s attention for much of the year.
“Obviously, we’ll be informing the public, and we’ll want everyone to know everything that’s in the bill,” Rubio said Thursday.
“We want everyone to know as much of what’s in the bill as possible, and we will use every opportunity we have to communicate that.”
Rubio has already begun to meet privately with conservatives to assure them that the plan will be tough on the border.
Rubio has spoken with individual Republican senators on the Senate Judiciary Committee, including conservatives John Cornyn of Texas and Mike Lee of Utah, to lay out the upcoming proposal, according to sources familiar with the matter.
Members of his staff have gone so far as to run the plan by conservative thought leaders, including those at the National Review and The Wall Street Journal editorial board, sources say.
Rubio also wants to start his own public hearing process, which would give GOP senators the opportunity to question experts about the plan, in hopes of allaying conservative concerns that the bill will be jammed through Congress with a minimum of public airing.
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