On "Face the Nation" Sunday, Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., made headlines by announcing her support of the immigration reform bill which the Senate should begin debating this week. "This is a good bipartisan solution, and I look forward to supporting it," she told Bob Schieffer, calling the current immigration system "completely broken."
Her support of the bill proposed by the so-called "Gang of Eight" makes her the sixth Republican to back the legislation. Roll Call explains that Ayotte's support brings the bill "tantalizingly close" to securing the 60 votes it would need to avoid a potential GOP filibuster.
Read more about what Ayotte's stance means for the immigration bill at The Los Angeles Times, Mediaite, The Washington Post, The Hill, San Francisco Gate and National Review. The New York Times explains the process the bill must undergo before a final vote on it, which is expected before the July Fourth holiday.
Ayotte weighed in on another topic that made headlines last week: the issue of sexual assault in the military. Ayotte told Schieffer she believes the Senate will come up with "a strong solution" to address the problem this week. "We're not letting this go," she said.
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., and Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif, appeared together to talk about this topic. Sen. Gillibrand called the issue of sexual assaults in the military "a culture problem from top to bottom." She said that the military must put "an objective prosecutor, not a commander" in charge of these cases. Rep. Jackie Speier echoed these sentiments, explaining that the current system typically results in "the perpetrator getting promoted and the victim getting kicked out." The New York Post, Politico and BusinessWeek have more on these discussions.
And moving to a third major domestic issue of the week, Ayotte commented on the National Security Agency's wire-tapping. "We have a responsibility to protect people's constitutional rights," she explained, "but let's not forget that we're still at war with terrorists." She also noted that it is "no accident" that both the Bush Administration and the Obama Administration have supported the program, despite their "very different philosophies."
Rep. McCaul, R-Texas, spoke to the topic and said while the program is "lawful" and has "stopped terrorist attacks in the past," it does raise some concerns for him. He said that in light of recent scandals, one can't help but wonder: "Can you trust this administration your phone records?" Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., also voiced concern, saying that the program had gone "too far," and asking "If this becomes the normal now, what's going to be the normal tomorrow?" Read more about our discussion with McCaul and Cummings on Politico and The National Review Online.