Last year, Ted Cruz proposed something called Kate’s Law, in response to Kate Steinle’s murder by an illegal alien who should have been deported. The bill was very simple:
For anybody caught re-entering or attempting to re-enter the country after being deported at least three times, the bill would stiffen the penalty to a minimum five year sentence if the individual had previously been convicted for an aggravated felony, up to 20 years.
This common-sense bill was, of course, filibustered by America-hating Democrats. The roll call was 55-42 in favor of the bill, falling five votes short of the 60 needed for cloture. But, in the new post-Trumpian world, would the bill still fail? I think it would pass!
Looking at the roll call, it’s safe to say that virtually none of the Yes votes would flip to No if the vote were held today. But I can see several No votes that could easily flip to Yes:
- Bill Nelson (D-FL) is up for re-election in 2018.
- Joe Donnelly (D-IN) has to face the voters of his Trump +20 state in 2018.
- Angus King (D-ME) has to face the white voters of his mostly rural state in 2018.
- Michigan voters helped make Trump president. They can certainly send Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) packing in 2018.
- Every six years, Claire McCaskill (D-MO) has to fool Missouri voters into thinking she’s a moderate. 2018 is such a year.
- Ditto Jon Tester (D-MT)
- Mark Warner (D-VA) came within an inch of his political life in 2014. So he and Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA) are likely wary about opposing bills like this in the post-Trump era.
- Mike Lee (R-UT) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) missed the vote. It’s safe to say they’d vote for the bill now.
- Sherrod Brown (D-OH) missed the vote, but Ohio is now a Trump +10 state, and Brown has an election in 2018.
I can see this group of senators forming a Democrat “coalition of the willing,” and voting for various border security bills. If they don’t, President Trump could make it a point to hold several of his gigantic rallies in each of their states over the next two years, asking their constituents to run them out of office.