There's a standoff in Congress over immigration.
The story so far: The House and Senate passed very different immigration bills. The usual procedure is for the next step to be negotiations between a small number of House and Senate members to work out a compromise bill which both chambers could accept.
In this case, the House GOP leaders took an unusual step--they are holding hearings on the Senate bill. Today there is a hearing in San Diego on border security and Friday another will be held in Laredo, Texas. To counter this, Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.), the Senate Judiciary Chairman, is holding his own hearing in Philadelphia today to draw attention to the Senate bill which includes a guest worker program.
While Republicans are divided--President Bush supports the Senate approach, which includes a guest worker program and a plan to legalize the status of millions of illegal immigrants in the U.S.--Democrats are mostly united over the Senate bill.
Today, Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.) and Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) leaders on House and Senate legislative efforts, hold a conference call on the need for the Senate approach.
The strategy of Specter and the Democrats is not to give a free media shot to the House GOP hearings today.