Marco Rubio stands tall, Rand Paul stands small

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John and I both worked for congressional leaders, though of different parties. We understand legislative politics. We understand how parties can win and lose majorities in the House of Representatives. I vowed from the beginning to be fair to Marco Rubio on immigration. In my view his performance in the Senate was a standout, first-rate, five-star example of how a serious legislator can serve the interests of his constituents, his country and his party.

Paul, on the other hand, acted like a pandering lightweight. This surprised me.

I supported his filibuster against drones killing Americans on American soil. I agreed with his speech about the GOP needing to reach out. I was amazed how quickly Paul rejected his own speech and violated his own advice. With actions like that, Paul is more likely to end up serving in the House of Representatives than the White House, and if House Republicans follow his lead, they may soon be returning the Speaker's gavel to Democrats.

So, I disagree with those who casually suggest that the Senate has acted and that is the end of it. The House will definitely pass an immigration bill, probably further militarizing the border with Mexico and removing a path to citizenship. Then the House will go to conference with the Senate and that will be the test.

My guess is the conference committee will report a bill that looks like the Senate bill, including the path to citizenship, adding stronger border security suggested by House conferees. If this happens, I think the odds are 50-50 that the House will pass this conference report with all Democrats voting yea along with enough Republicans who want to save the GOP from itself, as Rubio wisely suggests.