Despite their difficulties so far in both sending bills to the president and getting them signed, House and Senate Democrats have a multipronged recess message strategy that appears to be equal parts self-congratulation and blame-game.
“Everyone feels strongly that we need to highlight the many positive items we’ve passed,” said one senior Senate Democratic aide. “Having said that, we wouldn’t be doing a good job if we didn’t point out that Republicans have gone to unprecedented lengths to block us.”
The immigration bill, for example, could end up being a wash for both parties, regardless of the outcome.
If the immigration bill is approved, Democrats will attempt to seize credit by boasting of their commitment to border security and reuniting families of immigrants, the senior Senate Democratic aide said.
If immigration fails, however, it will be the president’s fault for failing to rally Republicans in the Senate to vote for the measure, said the aide.
“It’s an individual Senator-by-Senator issue,” said the Senate GOP leadership aide. “Nobody is going to walk away from this a winner.”
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.