The Senate's march to overhaul the nation's immigration laws is starting in somewhat rocky fashion, with Sen. John Cornyn of Texas and other leading Republicans complaining they've been shut out of the bill-writing process.
"It's not a good way to try to build consensus and to solve problems by withholding information," Cornyn said Wednesday as the Senate Judiciary Committee began debate.
Even the committee's top Republican, Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter, complained he'd been frozen out of the talks on a bill co-sponsored by one of his GOP colleagues, Arizona Sen. John McCain.
Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-Mass., and McCain will unveil the bill as early as next week. Senate leaders hope the Judiciary Committee will approve the bill this month, paving the way for a vote by the full Senate in April.
The bill reprises much of what the Senate approved in May: A path to citizenship for most of the estimated 12 million illegal immigrants, a guest worker program for future foreign workers and heightened immigration enforcement.
McCain is woking as hard as anyone, but I just don't think he's going to get the Democratic nomination.