Washington (CNN) – As the debate over immigration rages on in advance of this year's midterm elections, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has joined other prominent GOP senators in suggesting that so-called "birthright citizenship" be given a closer look in Capitol Hill hearings.
The 14th Amendment to the Constitution, which was ratified in the wake of the Civil War, provides in part that "All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside." The provision has the effect of granting "birthright" citizenship to anyone born in the U.S. - even if both of the person's parents are in the country illegally.
Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, told The Hill newspaper that he thinks the constitutional provision merits closer scrutiny "'I think we ought to take a look at it – hold hearings, listen to the experts on it.'"
McConnell also told the newspaper, "'I haven't made a final decision about it, but that's something that we clearly need to look at. Regardless of how you feel about the various aspects of immigration reform, I don't think anybody thinks that's something they're comfortable with.'"
Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain told CNN Tuesday he supports the "concept of holding hearings" on the matter but wouldn't articulate his position on whether the 14th Amendment should be changed.
Updated after the jump with a statement from Sen. McCain.
(CNN) – Arizona Sens. John McCain and Jon Kyl released a statement Monday regarding the United States District Court of Arizona's decision:
"We are deeply disappointed in the court's ruling today and disagree with the court's opinion that the Arizona's law will unduly 'burden' the enforcement of federal immigration law.
"Instead of wasting tax payer resources filing a lawsuit against Arizona and complaining that the law would be burdensome, the Obama Administration should have focused its efforts on working with Congress to provide the necessary resources to support the state in its efforts to act where the Federal government has failed to take responsibility."
"After this decision, it's even more important to implement our Ten Point Border Security plan to protect Arizonans and our country."
Read a statement from Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer after the jump.
Washington (CNN) – Arizona Sens. John McCain and Jon Kyl endorsed fellow Republican Jan Brewer Monday for her own four-year term as governor.
"There has been no stronger defender of the State of Arizona than Governor Jan Brewer," McCain said in a joint statement he released with Kyl. "From border security to health care to job creation, Governor Brewer has consistently stood up for our state."
Brewer succeeded Gov. Janet Napolitano in January 2009 when Napolitano resigned to become President Obama's Secretary of Homeland Security.
Washington (CNN) –There's no White House transcript or tape to veryify what was said in a private Oval Office meeting with President Obama, but White House Deputy Spokesman Bill Burton calls Republican Senator Jon Kyl's version of a one-on-one discussion on immigration reform, "not true."
Last Friday, at a Tea Party town hall in Arizona, the Republican Senate Whip said the President told him, "if we secure the border, then you all won't have any reason to support comprehensive immigration reform." Senator Kyl was suggesting that border security was being held hostage for political reasons.
The White House fired back on its blog, on Twitter and in the daily briefing. "The president didn't say that," Burton insisted, adding, "what everybody knows, because the president has made it perfectly clear, is that what we need to do is everything that we can to bring about comprehensive immigration reform. And that includes not just securing the border, but doing a lot of different other things."
So what was said?
Washington (CNN) - Minutes after President Obama formally announced Elena Kagan as his Supreme Court nominee, the second ranking Senate Republican told CNN he thought it was "unlikely" that the GOP will wage a filibuster to block her nomination.
"I think it highly unlikely that her nomination would be filibustered," said Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl, R-Arizona, who serves on the Judiciary Committee.
"She is nominally qualified and by that I mean she is obviously very intelligent. She is a very charming individual. She has a background in law. She knows the law and those are basic requirements for a Supreme Court justice."
Kyl did caution that it is very early in the process, and Republicans intend to do their "due diligence" in regards to digging through her records and holding comprehensive hearings on her nomination.
"Who knows what we might find in her record once these things are sent up to the Senate and we begin to read them," Kyl said. "I doubt that there is anything there that would occasion a filibuster, but I am not going to commit anybody."
Washington (CNN) - Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Arizona, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee issued the following statement:
“I congratulate Ms. Kagan on her nomination to the United States Supreme Court.
“Every Senator has a constitutional duty to scrutinize judicial nominees, and I will take great care in examining her record to ensure that she possess the qualities the American people expect in our Supreme Court Justices. I expect Senate Democrats will allow ample time for the Senate to conduct this vetting process.
“As I made clear when I supported her confirmation as Solicitor General, a temporary political appointment is far different than a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court.”
Washington (CNN) - Sens. Jon Kyl and John McCain, both Republicans from Arizona, called Monday for the immediate deployment of 3,000 National Guard troops to the state's border with Mexico and other steps to increase security.
Illegal aliens crossing the border into Arizona from Mexico were causing a spike in crime and other problems that needed immediate attention, said Kyl and McCain at a news conference with two Arizona sheriffs.
"The situation has spiraled out of control," McCain said, noting that 17 percent of those caught trying to illegally enter Arizona from Mexico had U.S. criminal records.
McCain and Kyl repeated a past call for 3,000 National Guard troops to be sent to the border right away, along with federal funding for another 3,000 U.S. Customs and Border agents to be deployed along the Arizona-Mexico border by 2015.
"We believe the best course is to encourage job creation by private companies," the Arizona senator says. "And the way to do that is to limit intrusion by Washington and to keep taxes at a manageable level."
Full transcript of the remarks after the jump:
Washington (CNN) - As a major White House meeting on health care reform approaches this week Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid acknowledged Tuesday that he may use a controversial parliamentary shortcut to bypass GOP opposition and pass a bill.
The fast-track approach, known as reconciliation, would allow Democrats to pass the bill with just 51 votes, not the 60 usually required to overcome a filibuster.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky said Democrats are being "arrogant" because the American people don't want a giant health care overhaul, but Democrats still plan to "use any parliamentary device to jam it through a reluctant Congress."
"It's hard for us to quite understand why, with reconciliation being planned, we're having a meeting which is allegedly designed to engender some bipartisan agreement," said the No. 2 Senate Republican, Jon Kyl of Arizona.
Reid bluntly warned Republicans to "stop crying" about the shortcut because Republicans have used the same procedure many times in the past, he said.
"They should stop crying about reconciliation as if it's never been done before. It's done almost every Congress, and they're the ones that used it more than anyone else," he said.