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Congress: Wrapping Rubio's weekend blitz

NBC’s Carrie Dann: “Top Republican immigration reform negotiator and potential 2016 presidential candidate Sen. Marco Rubio said Sunday that he has not considered the 'political calculus' of pushing legislation that will be a magnet for criticism from some within his own party. ‘I, quite frankly, have avoided making the political calculus on this issue,’ the Florida senator said during an interview on NBC's Meet the Press. ‘What we have now isn't good for anybody," he added. "What we have in place today, the status quo, is horrible for America.’”

More: “The interview with NBC's David Gregory was part of a weekend media blitz for Rubio, who appeared on all network Sunday shows as well as on Spanish-language programs to sell the immigration bill. The measure, which is expected to be unveiled on Tuesday, is sure to face fierce opposition from conservatives who oppose any legal status for undocumented immigrants.”

“Sen. Marco Rubio on Sunday began his public campaign to win over conservative support for overhauling the nation’s immigration laws, appearing on a record-setting seven network news programs,” Politico notes. “Rubio offered a finely calibrated pitch designed to alleviate conservative concerns about reform. He pushed back against claims that a pathway to citizenship is tantamount to amnesty. He rebutted arguments that an agreement would impose dramatic new costs on taxpayers. And he defended the changes as necessary to keep the border secure.”

Bad blood. “Mitch McConnell still hasn’t gotten over December’s traumatic fiscal cliff showdown. The Senate minority leader has signaled privately that he has no interest in sitting in the same room as Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) to discuss a possible ‘grand bargain’ on budget and tax issues, Senate insiders tell Politico. McConnell is fine with talking to Obama — just talking at this point — but he doesn’t want Reid there when it happens.”

Interesting stats… Peter Beinart (h/t Political Wire): In 1993, “Overall, 10 Republicans voted for the assault-weapons ban back then, almost a quarter of the GOP caucus. Today, by contrast, not a single Republican senator supports such a ban. Even the Obama administration's less controversial proposal for background checks faces overwhelming GOP opposition. Today, in fact, most Senate Republicans don't merely oppose new gun-control legislation; they oppose even holding a vote."

Saturday Night Live lampooned the way the gun-control legislation is being considered and the legislation itself. Says Jason Sudeikis as Joe Manchin: “Is this bill what we wanted? No. Is it what the NRA wanted? No. But does it at least help in some small way?” Bill Hader as Pat Toomey: “No.” Sudeikis: “No. It probably doesn’t.” Hader: “We are confident this bill will pass the Senate and then go the House of Representatives where it will immediately get shot down.”

Ex-Ohio Congressman Charlie Wilson died of complications from a stroke he suffered in February. He was 70.