McCain: Media leaks damaging Gang of 8 immigration talks

McCain: Media leaks damaging Gang of 8 immigration talks

Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainLessons of the Kamala Harris campaign Overnight Defense: Trump clashes with Macron at NATO summit | House impeachment report says Trump abused power | Top Dem scolds military leaders on Trump intervention in war crimes cases Top Armed Services Democrat scolds military leaders on Trump's intervention in war crimes cases MORE (R-Ariz.) on Thursday said leaks to the media have hurt the progress of the Senate’s closed-door talks on immigration reform.

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McCain said the leaks are damaging because they don’t give the public the whole picture of how the negotiations are proceeding. 

He is a member of the Gang of Eight senators involved in protracted discussions over an immigration deal that the group hopes will be completed by the end of the month.

“I’m not discussing what we’re discussing,” said McCain to reporters gathered near the Senate’s subway.

“One of the things, frankly, that has hurt us, is the selective leaks that have gone on. It’s been very unhelpful to the progress we’ve been trying to make," he said. 

“Sometimes the leaks are accurate. Sometimes they’re inaccurate. Sometimes they have to do with ongoing discussions we’re having. It never helps to have selective leaks on any issue that I’ve ever been involved in, until you get the final product and then everybody has a whole picture.”

The other members of the group are Sens. Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerOvernight Health Care — Presented by Johnson & Johnson — Democrats call on Supreme Court to block Louisiana abortion law | Michigan governor seeks to pause Medicaid work requirements | New front in fight over Medicaid block grants House, Senate Democrats call on Supreme Court to block Louisiana abortion law Why a second Trump term and a Democratic Congress could be a nightmare scenario for the GOP MORE (D-N.Y.), Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinSupreme Court poised to hear first major gun case in a decade Protecting the future of student data privacy: The time to act is now Overnight Health Care: Crunch time for Congress on surprise medical bills | CDC confirms 47 vaping-related deaths | Massachusetts passes flavored tobacco, vaping products ban MORE (D-Ill.), Robert MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezGOP senator blocks Armenian genocide resolution The job no GOP senator wants: 'I'd rather have a root canal' Senate passes legislation supporting Hong Kong protesters MORE (D-N.J.), Michael BennetMichael Farrand BennetBloomberg on 2020 rivals blasting him for using his own money: 'They had a chance to go out and make a lot of money' Senators want FERC to protect critical infrastructure from Huawei threats Krystal Ball: What Harris's exit means for the other 2020 candidates MORE (D-Colo.), Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamGOP senators request interview with former DNC contractor to probe possible Ukraine ties GOP senator blocks Armenian genocide resolution Hannity slams Stern for Clinton interview: 'Not the guy I grew up listening to' MORE (R-S.C.), Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioTikTok's leader to meet with lawmakers next week GOP senators unveil bill to expand 'opportunity zone' reporting requirements Three dead, several injured in Pensacola naval station shooting MORE (R-Fla.) and Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeLindsey Graham basks in the impeachment spotlight Kelly, McSally virtually tied in Arizona Senate race: poll The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by Nareit — White House cheers Republicans for storming impeachment hearing MORE (R-Ariz.). 

Leaks from the senators have been minimal and revealed only how the talks are developing, with little mention of the details. 

Republicans have heavily criticized the White House's leak last month of a draft copy of the president's immigration proposal. 

Earlier Thursday, Schumer told reporters that the group was meeting for several hours over the course of the day and had made significant progress.

A sticking point for the senators is how to deal with differing opinions on the number of high-skilled temporary guest-worker visas to grant. 

Senators are considering raising the current cap on visas from 65,000, which does not include an additional 20,000 for immigrants with advanced educational degrees.

Another problem arose on Thursday when a spokesman for the Building and Construction Trades Department at the AFL-CIO said that the union does not support the Chamber of Commerce’s desire to increase the number of low-skilled guest worker visas that are granted. The union spokesman told CQ Roll Call that expanding the number of “W” visas would hurt American construction workers.

McCain said the Gang of Eight’s final proposal would not please everyone and that each side needs to compromise.  

“I’m sure that whatever we agree to will not satisfy anyone, because we have to make compromises in order to get a broad bipartisan agreement,” McCain said. “I’m sure that everyone will want something better.”