Rand Paul: I hate to say it, but the immigration bill is a little bit like ObamaCare right now

posted at 8:41 pm on May 7, 2013 by Erika Johnsen

During a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee on Tuesday, Sen. Paul made a comparison between the Gang of Eight’s proposed immigration bill and ObamaCare which, on its face, might be considered fightin’ words betwixt the circles of the GOP — but, he was really making a solid point about the intricacies and potential implementation pitfalls of massive legislative packages pushed hastily through Congress.

I, for one, am for immigration reform. … That being said, I’m worried that the bill before us won’t pass. May pass the Senate, may not pass the House. I want to be constructive in making the bill strong enough that conservatives, myself included, conservative Republicans in the House, will vote for this because I think immigration reform is something we should do. In this bill, I’m worried though… it says, well, you have to have a plan to build a fence, but you don’t have to build a fence. And if you don’t have a plan to build a fence, then you get a commission. I don’t know what happens if the commission doesn’t do anything. That’s the story of Washington around here. To me, it’s a little bit like Obamacare, and I hate to bring that up, but 1800 references to the “secretary shall at a later date” decide things. We don’t write bills around here. We should write the bill, we should write the plan, we should do these things to secure the border, whether it be fence, entry-exit, we should write it, not delegate it, because, what’s going to happen in five years, if they don’t do their job — it may not even be them, it may be somebody else who doesn’t do their job in five years — and the border’s not secure, we will be blamed for the next ten million people who come here illegally.

Sen. Paul went on to ask that the Homeland Security get a chance to mark up the bill so they can plow through the details and offer amendments, not because he’s trying to kill the bill, but because national security is a big part of immigration and he wants to make the bill “better so we can pass it. I think the stronger this bill is, the better chance we have of passing it.”

Paul is on-the-record in favor of the basic ideas behind the immigration package, so while that one line might initially sound like borderline blaspheming, his essential point is merely expanding on Sen. Rubio’s constant refrain: That the bill is a “starting point” and he’s looking for plenty of time to debate, mark up, and change the bill to make it more effective and avoid the years of consequences from shoddy framework. The Democrats are currently living that nightmare firsthand.


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