GOP senators warn “Gang of Eight”: Don’t try to ram your bill through without extensive floor deliberation

posted at 6:41 pm on March 19, 2013 by Allahpundit

Remember last week’s report that Lindsey Graham and the gang might try to pass the Senate bipartisan bill on immigration as soon as it’s ready, without committee hearings, amendments, or much time allotted on the floor for speeches? Per Graham himself, “You don’t want to leave it hanging out for two weeks to get shot up.” I wondered at the time if that story was being pushed in part to nudge opponents of the bill that the moment to start officially mobilizing against it has come. If so, it worked like a charm. Today, all but two of the Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee signed a letter warning Pat Leahy and Reid to slow down. The key bit:

As you are aware, this bill potentially could be the most dramatic and consequential alteration of our immigration system in nearly 30 years, impacting nearly every aspect of our legal and economic structure, and increasing entitlement spending to historic levels. Before the Immigration Reform and Control Act was first introduced in the Senate in 1982, the Committee had 100 hours of hearings with 300 witnesses before marking up a bill. Congress continued to debate the bill for the next three years, and even then, the Judiciary Committee spent three months reviewing the bill before it was reported in August of 1985. Accordingly, we respectfully request that the public be given adequate time, consistent with past practice in handling complex comprehensive immigration legislation, to read and analyze the contents of any such bill before it is listed on the Committee’s Executive Business Meeting agenda. We further request that during this time, the Committee hold hearings on the overarching issues integral to the legislation.

The Committee has held only one hearing on comprehensive immigration reform on February 13th. While the Committee held a hearing on March 18th regarding the effect of reform on women and families, and a hearing is scheduled for March 20th on American values, we believe that hearings are necessary to examine implementation of the components essential to a workable system, especially given that 43 current members of the Senate were not here during the last debate in 2007. Some of those issues include future flow and a temporary guest worker program; border security metrics and solutions; interior enforcement, including worksite enforcement and employee verification; the impact of a large scale legalization on American workers and taxpayers; and the implementation of a biometric exit system, which the Government Accountability Office has determined to be the only method by which the government can accurately track visa overstays. Moreover, the last Department of Homeland Security Oversight hearing was in April 2012, and members are still waiting for Secretary Napolitano to provide answers to follow-up questions. Members should have the opportunity to question the Secretary on these and other important issues before being asked to cast a vote on such critical legislation.

We believe the process we have set forth is necessary not only to ensure that members are properly educated on this complex measure, but also to ensure a fair and open process so that the American people know what is in any such bill. The last time Congress considered legislation of this magnitude that was written behind closed doors and passed with no process, it resulted in sweeping changes to our healthcare system, the negative consequences of which are only now coming to light. As you have said in the past, if we bring these important issues to the Senate floor without them having been worked through committee, it is a prescription for a real problem.

Here’s the signature page. Which is most important?

sens

The temptation is to say Cornyn because he’s number two in the caucus, but no. Cornyn’s name is here first and foremost because Cruz’s name is here; Cornyn’s desperate to avoid a tea-party challenge in the primary of the sort that propelled Cruz into the Senate so there’ll be no daylight between him and his junior colleague from now until next November. Cruz is more important for another reason too. With so many tea-party stars lining up for immigration reform — Rubio most famously, of course, but Paul also suggested today he might support the Gang of Eight’s bill with amendments — the base may end up looking for a conservative champion in the Senate to rally grassroots opposition to the bill. The guy who delivered the keynote at CPAC and who’s become the Democrats’ public enemy number one in just two months in office is a natural choice, and he’s signaling here that he’s prepared to make a fuss if Graham and Schumer try to push this through too quickly.

With Cruz mobilizing the base and the odds of primary challenges rising, the odds that squishy Republicans would acquiesce in rubber-stamping it without hearings seems much less likely to me, no matter how eager they are to earn goodwill with Latinos by getting it done ASAP. There is a straddle they’ll have to perform here in passing the bill but not making conservatives too angry in the process. Rand Paul understands it, which is why he emphasized border security in his speech today while mentioning citizenship not at all. Rubio understands it too, which is why he undertook that talk-radio charm offensive and promised Rush he’d walk away if Democrats don’t follow an open, thorough process towards passage. I think he would walk away too if it came to that: Actually passing the bill is much less important to Rubio’s national ambitions than simply being seen as a voice of moderation and inclusion, and he’s already more or less achieved the latter by taking such a visible role in this process. Mickey Kaus scolded me on Twitter after last week’s post for suggesting that it’s paranoid to think fans of amnesty might want to push the bill through Congress quickly, but I never said it was paranoid. It’s quite logical, after the debacles of 2006 and 2007, for them to want to do that. I just think it’s unlikely because there’s too much political peril in Republican primaries, both local and national, for the major players on the right not to make a fuss about it and slow the process down if Schumer/Graham tried it. Especially for Rubio, who’ll take most of the blame from grassroots conservatives if this thing passes the Senate in a dubious way.


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Gang of Eight

LED by Marco Rubio, the young John McCain.

PappyD61 on March 19, 2013 at 6:42 PM

If you are for Amnesty…

….you are for law breakers and the collapse of American sovereign borders.

What does that make you?

PappyD61 on March 19, 2013 at 6:44 PM

Gang of Ate,

Get bent and deport yourselves to Mexico or any other country where your constituents are actually citizens of. You don’t belong in the government and you don’t belong here.

Don’t worry about papers or passports or anything. Just crawl over the borders and invade the lands whose people you are representing in America. That’s the way you seem to like it.

Dirtballs.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on March 19, 2013 at 6:48 PM

If you are for Amnesty…

….you are for law breakers and the collapse of American sovereign borders.

What does that make you?

PappyD61 on March 19, 2013 at 6:44 PM

The GOP frontrunner for the ’16 Presidential Race.

portlandon on March 19, 2013 at 6:50 PM

“Cornyn’s name is here first and foremost because Cruz’s name is here…”

Cruz is like a bright shining ray of hope cutting through all the doom and darkness that Obowma has surrounded us with…

Seven Percent Solution on March 19, 2013 at 6:53 PM

I’m a landscaper in Tucson. I won’t be if the gop screws this up.

So I’m planning not to be for much longer. I get 2 years unemployment, right? Food stamps? I’m white but I have a nice tan. I’m 1/16 Cherokee. Twice as much for a harvard degree.

wolly4321 on March 19, 2013 at 6:54 PM

Cruz and Lee. *swoon*

annoyinglittletwerp on March 19, 2013 at 6:54 PM

Illinidiva whines that Cruz is acting like a bully in 3…2…1…

annoyinglittletwerp on March 19, 2013 at 6:55 PM

Gang of Amnesty Eight.

Here’s a short video that shows how out of touch with reality the Amnesty 8 are.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LNHGlQyWbi8&feature=player_embedded

By the way, if Republicans wanted to make inroads in the black community, rejecting amnesty would be a good start.

xblade on March 19, 2013 at 6:56 PM

Any way to convince Allen West to move to South Carolina?

riddick on March 19, 2013 at 6:57 PM

“Cornyn’s name is here first and foremost because Cruz’s name is here…”

Cruz is like a bright shining ray of hope cutting through all the doom and darkness that Obowma has surrounded us with…

Seven Percent Solution on March 19, 2013 at 6:53 PM

There’s ZERO doubt that Cruz has forced Cornyn to move rightward. Outstanding.

annoyinglittletwerp on March 19, 2013 at 6:57 PM

LED by Marco Rubio, the young John McCain.

PappyD61 on March 19, 2013 at 6:42 PM

Watch for GOP push either Christie or this dumb ffck down out throats. And Rand is making some statements lately that make me re-think his support.

riddick on March 19, 2013 at 6:59 PM

I propose that they amend the amnesty bill to add the words “Viva Mexico!” to all of our coins and bills.

El_Terrible on March 19, 2013 at 7:03 PM

OT Obama voter civility

tom daschle concerned on March 19, 2013 at 7:11 PM

So Ted Cruz has become the demo-commiecrats public enemy number one. I believe I have found someone I can support for president.

bgibbs1000 on March 19, 2013 at 7:15 PM

There’s ZERO doubt that Cruz has forced Cornyn to move rightward. Outstanding.

annoyinglittletwerp on March 19, 2013 at 6:57 PM

Cornyn always moves to right just before an election. I’m not sure how much competition he will have in the primary, but there will be challengers. Texas deserves another Conservative in the Senate.

Corsair on March 19, 2013 at 7:22 PM

The entire repub party is absolutely worthless.

Panther on March 19, 2013 at 7:25 PM

The entire repub party is Both parties are absolutely worthless.

Panther on March 19, 2013 at 7:25 PM

Fify.

CherryBombsBigBrownBeaver on March 19, 2013 at 7:36 PM

there’s no reason at all to trust someone like McCain. I was reading this puff piece on Michael Mann, and out popped McCain

But climate contrarians in Congress began homing in on Mann during the Bush administration. In 2005, then-chair of the House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee, Representative Joe Barton (R-TX), sent a letter to Mann, his coauthors, and two other scientists, informing them that he was launching an investigation into the hockey stick study because of “methodological flaws and data errors.”

Despite an outcry from the scientific community, media, and Republicans such as Senator John McCain (R-AZ) that he was harassing scientists, Barton commissioned a report on Mann’s 1999 study. The report criticized the hockey stick paper—only to become mired later in allegations of plagiarism and misconduct.

Barton is one of the Heroes of the climate skeptic movement. He has gotten little praise for it. Out of his hearings came McIntyre, Wegmann and a big hit to the hockey stick. And of course, given the infinite wisdom of R house leaders they replaced him with Fred, the light bulb guy, Upton…who promised to be more conservative.

Anyway, naturally McCain opposed Barton’s hearing. McCain is a pest….and none to bright…just an old broken down show boat. And his main claim to fame will be the loser to Obama…and John is probably happy with that footnote to history he has

r keller on March 19, 2013 at 7:36 PM

OT Obama voter civility

tom daschle concerned on March 19, 2013 at 7:11 PM

Aside from knocking the flag down, that’s actually really funny, and I wish someone did that to Obama.

Daemonocracy on March 19, 2013 at 7:40 PM

Is Flake really just an apt descriptor?

riddick on March 19, 2013 at 8:04 PM

Amnesty is the GOP’s Obamacare. They’re mad for it. Nothing anyone can say will put them off it. No arguments put forward against it will convince them. No amount of debunking the assertions made for passing it will deter them. And they will try and pass it just as just as the Dems did Obamacare.

Maybe it will just come down to them learning to fear for their own physical safety. Maybe they need to keep in mind how Nikola and Elena Ceaucescu ended up when they consider to go forward with this.

http://www.bubblews.com/assets/images/news/1848220604_1357249818.jpg

Mussolini?

http://theitalywiki.com/images/b/b3/Mussolini_petacci_pc.jpg

Think twice boys.

sartana on March 19, 2013 at 8:09 PM

ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh…a stern warning!

KOOLAID2 on March 19, 2013 at 8:14 PM

Here is a handy list of the U.S. Senators who are up for re-election in 2014.

Each of these Senators in addition to the other candidates who are running for these Senate seats should be asked very specific questions about their position on the “Gang of 8′s” immigration bill at every opportunity.

U.S. Senators who are up for re-election in 2014 (Class II) – 33

http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm?Class=2

Republicans (13)

Lamar Alexander (R-TN)

Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) – Nor running for re-election

Thad Cochran (R-MS)

Susan Collins (R-ME)

John Cornyn (R-TX)

Michael Enzi (R-WY)

Lindsey Graham (R-SC)

James Inhofe (R-OK)

Mike Johanns (R-NE) – Not running for re-election

Mitch McConnell (R-KY)

James Risch (R-ID)

Pat Roberts (R-KS)

Jeff Sessions (R-AL)

Democrats (20)

Max Baucus (D-MT)

Mark Begich (D-AK)

Christopher Coons (D-DE)

Richard Durbin (D-IL)

Al Franken (D-MN)

Kay Hagan (D-NC)

Tom Harkin (D-IA) – Not running for re-election

Tim Johnson (D-SD)

John Kerry (D-MA)

Mary Landrieu (D-LA)

Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) – Not running for re-election

Carl Levin (D-MI) – Not running for re-elction

Jeff Merkley (D-OR)

Mark Pryor (D-AR)

Jack Reed (D-RI)

John Rockefeller IV (D-WV) – Not running for re-election

Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH)

Mark Udall (D-CO)

Tom Udall (D-NM)

Mark Warner (D-VA)

Start holding our Senate candidates accountable for their positions on ILLEGAL immigration NOW.

American voters need to decide which candidates they are going to support in the 2014 Primary and General elections.

wren on March 19, 2013 at 8:24 PM

Start holding our Senate candidates accountable for their positions on ILLEGAL immigration NOW.

American voters need to decide which candidates they are going to support in the 2014 Primary and General elections.

wren on March 19, 2013 at 8:24 PM

list likey. thanky.

PappyD61 on March 19, 2013 at 8:44 PM

Gang of Eight – go to hell.

VorDaj on March 19, 2013 at 8:52 PM

list likey. thanky.

PappyD61 on March 19, 2013 at 8:44 PM

I’m happy to help, PappyD61. Feel free to share the list with others far and wide.

Our elected “leaders” need to know American voters are watching their actions on the ILLEGAL immigration issue very carefully.

wren on March 19, 2013 at 8:59 PM

There is no way for Republicans to be a party to amnesty and gain from it. The people in favor will never vote for them. And the damage done to their base will be huge and permanent. You want votes? Former supporters will say go get them from your new BFF the Latinos. Big business and the democrats will love it of course. But no one else.

bluesdoc70 on March 19, 2013 at 9:04 PM

That was a d*mn fine letter, which asks a number of critical questions. Maybe a copy of it should be sent to the senators up for re-election. Thanks for that list, wren.

onlineanalyst on March 19, 2013 at 9:07 PM

Why did immigration reform suddenly become an imperative for this Spring? Who makes these decisions?

What is wrong with the status quo? Is it all that bad? Isn’t the status quo an infinitely better situation than anything the democratics will come up with?

Why no debate on the cost of amnesty? How much would it cost if a new slug of suddenly-legal immigrants hit the welfare rolls, SNAP, WIC, subsidized housing, etc? Why hasn’t anyone in Congress tasked the CBO to do estimates?

slickwillie2001 on March 19, 2013 at 9:20 PM

wren on March 19, 2013 at 8:24 PM

Thanks for the list. But what about the House. I don’t see amnesty passing there.

fight like a girl on March 19, 2013 at 9:25 PM

Why did immigration reform suddenly become an imperative for this Spring? Who makes these decisions?

Because like the Obamacare fiasco, amnesty supporters see an opportunity that they may never get again, and they’re taking advantage of it.

What is wrong with the status quo? Is it all that bad? Isn’t the status quo an infinitely better situation than anything the democratics will come up with?

Of course it is, but doing what is best isn’t their goal.

Why no debate on the cost of amnesty? How much would it cost if a new slug of suddenly-legal immigrants hit the welfare rolls, SNAP, WIC, subsidized housing, etc? Why hasn’t anyone in Congress tasked the CBO to do estimates?

slickwillie2001

You know exactly why, lol. The less people know about the negatives of amnesty, the better.

xblade on March 19, 2013 at 9:34 PM

Thanks for the list. But what about the House. I don’t see amnesty passing there.

fight like a girl on March 19, 2013 at 9:25 PM

We all need to watch the members of the House of Representatives like hawks too. And ask them to clarify their specific positions on ILLEGAL immigration as often as possible.

I didn’t include a list for the House because 100% of the House Representatives is up for re-election in the House.

The Senate list is important, because Voters have more leverage with the 33 Senators who are up for re-election in 2014.

wren on March 19, 2013 at 9:37 PM

Thanks for the list. But what about the House. I don’t see amnesty passing there.

fight like a girl

Sadly, the fix is probably in. There will be just enough R votes to make sure it passes while letting the rest vote against it and say they did what they could to stop it.

xblade on March 19, 2013 at 9:38 PM

There will be just enough R votes to make sure it passes while letting the rest vote against it and say they did what they could to stop it.

xblade on March 19, 2013 at 9:38 PM

And this is why Americans need to be watching our elected “leaders” so carefully NOW.

We should demand evidence that shows what each Senator and Congressperson is doing at each and every step as a nationwide dialogue about ILLEGAL immigration unfolds.

wren on March 19, 2013 at 9:56 PM

I’ll Cruz with Ted.

Mirimichi on March 19, 2013 at 10:30 PM

Nice writeup AP, appreciate it.

“Cornyn’s name is here first and foremost because Cruz’s name is here…”

So true and exactly why McConnell is sticking close to Rand Paul, LOL

They are soooo transparent:-)

I hope Cruz & Paul have enough wisdom to understand the reasons why!!

bluefox on March 19, 2013 at 10:40 PM

Oh, We can show our support for Ted Cruz here:

http://jobsgrowth.org/

I like the fact he’s reaching out also. He mentioned this in his
speech at CPAC.

bluefox on March 19, 2013 at 10:50 PM

Start holding our Senate candidates accountable for their positions on ILLEGAL immigration NOW.

American voters need to decide which candidates they are going to support in the 2014 Primary and General elections.

wren on March 19, 2013 at 8:24 PM

Thanks wren. I see you are hard at work as usual! Here is something to bookmark. U.S. House and U.S. Senate contact info.
I picked this up from PVG at rightscoop a few weeks ago.

http://www.nagc.org/uploadedFiles/Advocacy/Congressional%20Directory%20%28113%29.pdf

bluefox on March 19, 2013 at 11:03 PM

Here is something to bookmark. U.S. House and U.S. Senate contact info.
I picked this up from PVG at rightscoop a few weeks ago.

http://www.nagc.org/uploadedFiles/Advocacy/Congressional%20Directory%20%28113%29.pdf

bluefox on March 19, 2013 at 11:03 PM

Thanak you, Bluefox! I see that you are generously sharing resources, as usual, as well! Important ammunition for the good guys!

We can all have great fun with your contact list and perhaps help to save the country too!

I printed out a copy of your list and put it near my phone. Never can tell when I’ll get a sudden urge to express my opinions to a Senator or Congressperson. Seems like every day now, at least one of them needs our advice.

I also saved an electronic copy of the link so I can share your list with my network of conservative friends.

Keep up your good work, Bluefox! The next election is on the horizon. Hold the House! Seize the Senate in 2014!

wren on March 20, 2013 at 1:41 AM