Get PJ Media on your Apple

The PJ Tatler

by
Matt Vespa

Bio

September 12, 2013 - 8:46 am

Last June, the U.S. Senate overwhelming passed immigration reform by a vote of 68-32.  Yet, many commentators noted that it’s DOA in the House.  Similarly, the president’s recent plea to Congress to approve a resolution authorizing him to use military force in Syria seems like a long shot as well.  A rough count of the votes has 25 senators – 18 Democrats and 7 Republicans – voting/leaning yes, with 29 voting/leaning no.  It’s more of a partisan split here, with 22 Republicans and 7 Democrats making up this coalition.  Nevertheless, 46 members of the Senate (27 Democrats, 17 Republicans, 2 Independents) remain undecided.

The House is more lopsided.  195 Representatives are voting, or leaning, no on the resolution, with only 31 supporting the president’s call for air strikes.  Nevertheless, that still leaves 128 Representatives up for grabs.  At the same time, this Syrian puzzle is threatening immigration reform this term.  Is it over? It seems that way. Yet, a new study shows that not all is lost on either front.

Chad Murphy of the University of Mary Washington and Chris Westbury of the University of Alberta did a comprehensive study showing that there are more than enough votes to pass both measures.

On immigration, Murphy and Westbury:

[L]ooked at member’s beliefs about the major issues and players in the system. Through a statistical analysis of all floor speeches by members of the House of Representatives, I found that at least 60% of the House of Representatives are negative toward the concept of amnesty, but if given the choice they would likely vote for it anyway.

I analyzed floor speeches for all members of Congress and looked at how they speak about immigrants and amnesty. Through a high-dimensional computer analysis of these speeches, I find that Democrats and around 80 Republicans are pro-immigration. However, while only the most liberal members of the House have positive feelings toward amnesty the 250+ pro-immigration members of Congress are also likely to vote for a bill that includes amnesty.

This means that if the House was able to vote on the comprehensive immigration reform bill that passed the Senate earlier this year, a substantial majority of the House would vote for the bill. It will ultimately be a test of John Boehner’s leadership skills to see if he can keep the Senate bill off the agenda. A majority of the chamber supports the legislation, but only 1/3 of his party.

Concerning Syria:

In his speech on August 31, President Obama said that he wanted to take military action against Syria for using chemical weapons but would consult with Congress first. While the president spoke of the need for partisan unity in his rose garden speech, a limited military action in Syria is unlikely to run into much opposition from Republican members of Congress who believe that war is the president’s responsibility.

I analyzed floor speeches for all members of the House and Senate and looked to see who they attributed war powers to. Through a high-dimensional computer analysis of these speeches, I find that over 80% of both chambers at least weakly believe that the responsibility for war falls on the president rather than on Congress. The only group of politicians that linked war more closely to Congress was comprised of the most liberal members of the House and Senate.

Ultimately what this means is that the president is unlikely to see much pushback from Congress and will get a joint resolution supporting his initial mission in Syria. This becomes even more likely because the only real opposition will be from his own party who will not want to weaken their president.

Full details on the method are explained in: “Expanding the Scope of Selective Exposure: An Objective Approach to Measurement of Media Ideology,” by Chad Murphy and Chris Westbury, published in the current issue of Communication Methods and Measures.

 

Matt Vespa is a conservative blogger who contributes to CNS News, RedState, Noodle Pundit, and was formerly with Hot Air's GreenRoom.

Comments are closed.

All Comments   (6)
All Comments   (6)
Sort: Newest Oldest Top Rated
Did you notice the two Colorado state senators recalled because they decided to ignore the will of the people and do what THEY decided? This country is supposed to be a 'REPRESENTATIVE REPUBLIC', that is, congress is supposed to represent the will of the people, not the will of the special interests, or the will of those that think they are so much smarter and better THEY need to be rulers not ordinary citizens.

If the house passes immigration reform, they are not only going to lose their jobs, but will likely be investigated for taking bribes or selling their vote to the special interests. SEVENTY percent of AMERICAN CITIZENS are opposed to amnesty in any form, including legalization to stay and work here, or path to citizenship. Here is what AMERICAN citizens want.
SECURE THE BORDER AND ENFORCE OUR EXISTING LAWS AS CONGRESS PROMISED TO DO IN 1986! IF THIS ADMINISTRATION REFUSES TO ENFORCE THE LAW, IMPEACH AND REMOVE, IT IS A VIOLATION OF THEIR OATH, DUTY, AND CONSTITUTION.

NO AMNESTY, PATH TO CITIZENSHIP, GOVERNMENT BENEFITS, JOBS, OR EFFING VOTE.....EVER...TO ILLEGAL ALIENS WHO BREAK OUR LAWS AND DISRESPECT OUR COUNTRY AND CULTURE.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
The federales want to bomb a country (Syria) brimming with psychopaths AND doing everything they can to bring those psychopaths to America. Is that pure crazy or hidden agenda driven?
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
People who are wise and thus not short sighted, they will agree that immigration reform should be passed; people who call it 'amnesty' on purpose wants to hide their small selfish self by calling it what it is not. It is useless to keep on clarifying to them because they decided not to understand.

They are the people who will eventually bring the country down; they are the black sheep of the country.

I believe immigration reform should be passed.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
spoken like the anti American liberal elitist douche you are. You and people like you are who are bringing this country down. It is useless to use facts with you, as your elitist brain is too small and inadequate to comprehend what it means to be an American.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
Then you are either woefully misinformed as to what the current legislation includes, or you are willfully ignorant of the potential catastrophe AMNESTY would reap upon our still free for the moment nation. Thankfully, the vast majority of Americans are letting their respective representatives know how much they oppose these marxist attempts to further 'fundamentally transform' America.

Your attempt to diminish people who would disagree with you by calling them "small - selfish - black sheep" exposes your "progressive" (aka: commie/marxist/racist) background. You, Sir/Madame, are the "small" one in this conversation.

Remember BENGHAZI!
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
When Murphy and Webster say "pro-immigration" they really mean "pro-rewarding people for ignoring the laws of the United States while punishing the people who abide by them".
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
View All