Call them the Gang of Four (or don't).
Regardless of what you call them, a group of four Senate Republicans are working to convince their fellow lawmakers to vote against the Gang of Eight immigration bill.
Sens. Jeff Sessions (Ala.), Chuck Grassley (Iowa), Mike Lee (Utah), and Ted Cruz (Texas) circulated a four-and-a-half page letter to their colleagues that outlines their specific criticisms against the bipartisan immigration bill that will hit the Senate floor next week. (Read it here).
"The last thing this country needs right now is another 1,000+ page bill that, like Obamacare, was negotiated behind closed door with special interests," they wrote. "We want immigration reform to pass, but only if it fixes the broken system."
It's not news that this group of Republicans are against the immigration reform bill -- all four voted against the proposal in committee. But the letter does offer a comprehensive preview of how Republican opponents of the bill will argue against it once it hits the floor.
Their main target is the pathway to citizenship, a provision Democrats say absolutely needs to be in the legislation. The GOP senators argue that the bill provides "immediate legalization without securing the border" and "rewards criminal aliens … and undermines law enforcement."
They also expressed frustration over the process of how the bill has been handled, arguing that the drafters decided beforehand to protect the core provisions of the package. Over 130 amendments to the bill were adopted, but "in reality, these votes were decided long before the markup, with virtually every significant reform rejected out of hand."
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) confirmed today that the formal debate over the legislation will begin next week. Once it's there, senators can continue to offer amendments to change the bill -- or ones that are designed to kill it.
Keep an eye on these four senators, who are working to make sure the latter outcome happens.