After watching Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) standing side-by-side with Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) yesterday as I was getting ready for work, I’ve decided only eight senators are needed to run our country.
While “gang” often refers to hooligans or troublemakers, the notorious “Gang of Eight,” is working to solve one of the country’s toughest problems. McCain and Schumer, six of their counterparts and a bevy of staffers worked long and hard to hammer out a compromise bill on immigration.
Senate Democrats Richard Durbin of Illinois, Michael Bennet of Colorado and Bob Menendez of New Jersey also are members, along with Republican Senators Marco Rubio of Florida, Jeff Flake of Arizona and Lindsay Graham of South Carolina. The press conference yesterday was the first time they had all appeared publicly together since the group released its goals for the bill in January.
McCain quipped, “It’s well known in the Senate I’m not the easiest guy to get along with,” but then he praised Democrats for their willingness to work with Republicans on the landmark bill. In turn, Schumer said, “This bill wouldn’t have happened without John McCain’s leadership.”
Distilled down, McCain told a reporter that even though they often disagree, they maintain “a mutual level of respect.” That foundation kept everyone communicating and searching for solutions, even in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds.
In reference to how he feels about the other gang members, Schumer added, “There’s a measure of trust.” While their philosophies clearly are polarized, their determination to find ways to deal with pressing issues like immigration supersedes personal differences.
The senators acknowledged that there was still work to be done and that the bill was just a starting point.
"This isn’t perfect, but it’s a good-faith, common-sense approach to fix a badly broken system," says Durbin said, echoing calls from the other lawmakers who urged their colleagues to prepare to make compromises to pass the bill.
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Sans politics and special interests, isn’t it amazing what can be accomplished when people decide to work together? Imagine how well our country would run if all our elected officials shared the same philosophy.