On Saturday’s Up w/ Chris Hayes, we’ll discuss two of President Obama’s main priorities for his second term: immigration reform and gun control. In the wake of the shooting in Newtown, CT, it seemed that Congress was moving towards overhauling the country’s current gun laws. However, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid announced Tuesday he would not include Senator Diane Feinstein’s measure to ban assault weapons. Instead, the bill will be considered as an amendment. At the same time, it appears that Congress is backing away from strong universal background check legislation, despite Reid’s assurances.
Meanwhile, a bipartisan group of senators announced that they hope to release an immigration bill next month. The RNC released a report this week endorsing comprehensive immigration reform and Senator Rand Paul appealed to the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce with his own immigration reform proposals. Because the Republican party lost a majority of Latino voters in November’s election, a bipartisan immigration deal seems within reach, as the GOP tries to gain ground with nonwhite voters.
Then, we’ll examine President Obama’s first trip to Israel and the West Bank as president. The three-day trip, which ended Friday, highlighted a warming relationship between Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. However, Obama’s trips to the West Bank encountered a much colder reaction that included protests. The stark contrast between Israel’s reception of Obama and the West Bank’s general apathy towards him illustrated that a peace agreement brokered by the U.S. remains far out of reach.
Joining Chris at 8 AM ET on MSNBC will be:
Rashid Khalidi, professor of modern Arab studies at Columbia University, author of “Brokers of Deceit: How the U.S. had Undermined Peace in the Middle East.”
Jeremy Ben-Ami (@JeremyBenAmi), executive director of J Street, a pro-Israel, pro-peace advocacy organization in the U.S.
Noura Erakat (@4noura), adjunct professor at Georgetown University, teaching fellow at Temple Law School, legal advocacy coordinator for the Badil Resource Center for Palestinian Refugee and Residency Rights.
Democratic Congressman Xavier Becerra (@RepBecerra) represents California’s 34th congressional district and is currently serving as the chairman of the House Democratic Caucus.
Matt Duss (@mattduss), policy analyst and director of Middle East Progress at American Progress.
Democratic Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy (@RepMcCarthyNY) represents New York’s 4th congressional district.
Gary Younge (@garyyounge), columnist for The Guardian and The Nation.
Jim Antle (@jimantle), editor at the Daily Caller News Foundation and senior editor of “The American Spectator” magazine.