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Morning Examiner: Schumer-Rubio vs. American workers

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) (L) listens to Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) during a news conference on immigration reform April 18 on Capitol Hill in Washington. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

U.S. employers added just 175,000 jobs last month, and the nation’s unemployment rate actually rose to 7.6 percent. As completely unacceptable as these numbers are for a supposed economic recovery, the construction industry is suffering even worse. A full 10.8 percent of the nation’s construction workers are currently unemployed, and, according to Sen. Marco Rubio’s, R-Fla., staff, it is their own fault.

The New Yorker‘s Ryan Lizza reports on the negotiations between Rubio and Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., on the Schumer-Rubio immigration bill:

The two biggest sticking points were wages for foreign workers (the unions wanted them to be higher) and the objections of the Building and Construction Trades union, which argues that plenty of Americans are looking for this kind of work. Rubio sided with the Chamber against the construction workers. ‘There are American workers who, for lack of a better term, can’t cut it,’ a Rubio aide told me. ‘There shouldn’t be a presumption that every American worker is a star performer. There are people who just can’t get it, can’t do it, don’t want to do it. And so you can’t obviously discuss that publicly.’

And there you have one of ugly assumptions underlying the Schumer-Rubio amnesty bill: Too many American workers just can’t cut it, so we need to import hundreds of thousands of low-skill immigrants every year who will do their jobs for them.

No denial from Rubio
Rubio will never admit this, of course, which is why his spokesman, Alex Conant, quickly emailed a response, including, “We strongly objected to the magazine including that background quote in the piece because it’s not what Sen. Rubio believes or has ever argued.”

Personnel is policy
It is good to know that Rubio has never made this argument in public.But notice how Conant doesn’t deny that somebody on Rubio’s staff made the comment in question. Rubio may not have uttered the above statement, but it is obviously a driving sentiment of the people he has chosen to work for him. As everyone in Washington knows personnel is policy. Rubio can no more distance himself from this aide’s statement than Obama can distance himself from the supposedly “rogue” IRS agents in Cincinnati.

Obama pulling the strings
Lizza also reports that President Obama is far more involved in the push for Schumer-Rubio than has previously been acknowledged. “No decisions are being made without talking to us about it,” a White House official told Lizza. “We’re the hammer on the back end. If the Republicans try to scuttle it, we’re the ones who can communicate to the Latino community who scuttled it.”

If this is true, then Rubio has no real leverage in the immigration debate, he is being leveraged. If he deviates at all from Obama’s agenda, the White House has made it clear they are ready to attack him. No wonder he told ABC This Week that the bill is already 95 percent perfect.

From The Washington Examiner
Editorial: Obama puts up dukes and blunders into Syria
David Drucker: John Boehner won’t back immigration bill without majority GOP support
Charlie Spiering: Marco Rubio doesn’t know if he’s ‘getting played’ by Democrats
Conn Carroll: Somebody owes the Heritage Foundation an apology
Tim Carney: How Obama’s allies shed their objections to extraordinary government surveillance
Phil Klein: Iran’s dangerous ‘moderate’
Byron York: Is the Gang of Eight really tough on immigrants with criminal records?
Joel Gehrke: EPA overstates benefit of new rule based on bad science
Brian Hughes: Marco Rubio says immigration bill nearly in ‘perfect shape’
Sean Higgins: Liberal magazine tells 2016 White House hopefuls to distance themselves from Obama
Examiner Watchdog Exclusive! Free Ride Feds – Experts say fraud rampant in federal workers disability program.

In Other News
CNN, Obama approval falls amid controversies: President Barack Obama’s approval rating dropped eight percentage points over the past month, to 45%, the president’s lowest rating in more than a year and a half, according to a new national poll.
USA Today, Deals for industries, immigrants tucked in Senate bill: The massive immigration overhaul working its way through the Senate is peppered with benefits for specific industries and immigrant groups.
The New York Times, Choice of Health Plans to Vary Sharply From State to State: Only months before Americans start buying coverage through new state insurance exchanges, it is becoming clear that choices will vary sharply depending on where people live.
The Washington Post, Photo-ID databases are troves for police: The faces of more than 120 million people are in searchable databases that were compiled to prevent driver’s license fraud but increasingly are used by police in investigations, a Post analysis finds.
The New York Times, Turkey Expands Violent Reaction to Street Unrest: Turkish authorities took aim not just at the demonstrators in Taksim Square, but also at the medics who treated their injuries and the business owners who sheltered them.

Lefty Playbook
Josh Marshall notes that Rep. Jarold Nadler, D-N.Y., has retraced his claims about NSA wiretapping.
Think Progress says our Broken Immigration System Is Leaving Thousands Of Children Fatherless.
David Dayen on How mortgage servicers are strong-arming the victims of the Moore, Oklahoma tornado.
Marc Ambinder defends the NSA spying program.

Righty Playbook
Fred Bauer has started a new immigration blog.
Mickey Kaus on Rubio’s search for the Magic Fig Leaf.
Chris Jacobs on how Obamacare is becoming Medicaid for all.
Daren Bakst notes This Farm Bill 56 Percent More Costly Than Last