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Congress: 'Show of force' on immigration

Attention turns in Congress to immigration. The Senate Judiciary Committee will begin its mark up Thursday of the Gang of Eight’s bill.

“A Republican group that backs an immigration overhaul is shifting its advertising strategy as it prepares for the Senate to take up the debate when it returns from recess this week. The American Action Network, an issue-advocacy organization aligned with a super PAC and a Hispanic outreach arm, increased its current cable television ad buy from $300,000 to $500,000, the group confirmed to CQ Roll Call.”

“Senate immigration negotiators are targeting as many as two dozen Republicans for a show-of-force majority — which they believe may be the only way a reform bill will have the momentum to force the House to act,” Politico writes. “Reform proponents are looking for votes far beyond the usual moderate suspects to senators in conservative bastions such as Utah, Georgia and Wyoming. The senators landed on the list because they’re retiring, representing agricultural states, anxious to get the issue behind the party, important to persuading skittish House Republicans or all of the above.”

Roll Call: “The Keystone XL oil pipeline, Securities and Exchange Commission regulation, student loan rates and pediatric medical research will be among the first orders of legislative business in the House when Congress returns from a weeklong recess. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., issued a memo on Friday laying out the Republicans’ legislative agenda for May. Congress is expected to be busy during the three weeks it will be in session before members take another short recess the week of Memorial Day. Cantor also promised another vote to repeal Obamacare. Though Cantor doesn’t mention it in his memo, an immigration overhaul will no doubt dominate lawmakers’ attention as it moves forward in both the House and Senate.”

More debt-ceiling shenanigans: Politico: “Now, momentum is building to tie a rewrite of the Tax Code to hiking the debt cap, which will need to be raised by the fall because the limit will technically be hit this month.”