June 19, 2007


Sen. Reid fast-tracks revived immigration bill: Proposal boosts funding by $4.4 billion for border security and workplace enforcement, a Bush-backed provision (Maura Reynolds, June 19, 2007, LA Times)

The new version cleans up the legislation, which had been altered so much in the last year that it had become legislatively unwieldy. It includes a provision, agreed to in principle last week by Senate leaders with the support of President Bush, that would boost funding for border security and workplace enforcement by $4.4 billion.

"Republican obstructionists are going to have a very simple decision to make later on this week," said Jim Manley, Reid's staff director. "Are they going to stand for efforts to provide increased funding for border security along with comprehensive immigration reform? Or are they going to continue to block one of the top priorities of the president?"

The proposal announced Monday will incorporate the substance of about two dozen amendments adopted when the Senate debated the bill for two weeks this year. The core of the legislation has become known as the "grand bargain." Under the plan, opponents agreed to provide many illegal immigrants now in the United States a path to citizenship in return for a restructuring of the immigration system to give greater weight to education and job skills, rather than family ties. [...]

To curb opponents' chances of blocking the bill, Reid used a Senate procedure known as Rule 14 to reintroduce and bring the measure immediately to the floor for debate without going through a committee.

Aides said the majority leader was also considering introducing the last two dozen or so amendments in a block, using a controversial maneuver to prevent others from being offered.

"This is a very heavy-handed tactic by the leader that is cutting a large number of senators out of the process, and there is nothing we can do to stop it," complained a senior aide to one of the bill's GOP opponents, who spoke on condition of anonymity in order to speak freely about inter-party disputes.

Posted by Orrin Judd at June 19, 2007 7:02 AM

A few weeks ago a select group of Senators tried to jam a massive immigration bill through the senate with little debate or ability to add amendments. Significant public outcry stopped this effort.

So, after some time to think, the great deliberative minds in the Senate have decided to again jam a massive immigration bill through the senate with little or not debate. Are these guys serious?

The House leadership, Dem and GOP, has declared the Senate bill DOA. The House, in contrast to the Senate, is breaking the immigration issue into smaller one issue bills that will be debated and passed/rejected. Why the great minds in the Senate won't take this common sense approach is hard to understand.

Posted by: AWW at June 19, 2007 7:30 AM

The outcry was insignificant--the same folks oppose it who did before the hysteria--which is why majorities in both chambers can vote for it with impunity. When 70% of the public supports a policy it becomes law.

Posted by: oj at June 19, 2007 10:43 AM

"which is why majorities in both chambers can vote for it with impunity"

Wow, that's some truly breathtaking political obtuseness there. You think Heath Shuler's going to vote for anything even close to the Senate bill? You think ANY Blue Dog Democrat is going to? You think a "conservative" Democrat is going to want to have to run simultaneously downticket from Hillary and with "he voted for amnesty" record in 2008? Not a chance.

Posted by: b at June 19, 2007 1:22 PM

--Or are they going to continue to block one of the top priorities of the president?"----

They've been blocking priorities for 6 years, why shouldn't the pubbies?????

Posted by: Sandy P at June 19, 2007 4:10 PM

No, Shuler was elected on the basis of his crackerhood. Think he was going to vote to let in the brown folk before the recent hysteria?

Posted by: oj at June 19, 2007 4:28 PM

It was the GOP that blocked it for 6 years. The Democrat takeover is all that gives it a chance of passage.

Posted by: oj at June 19, 2007 4:31 PM

OJ, the idea that 70% of the public supports this bill is ludicrous.

Posted by: PapayaSF at June 19, 2007 5:00 PM

Yes, that would be a ludicrous claim. Not even 50% ever support any bill ever, which is why there's pork. 70% support the policy--quite a different matter.

Posted by: oj at June 19, 2007 5:50 PM

Some polls make it appear that people support the idea of balancing immigration reform with hightened security.

The reality is that the so-called, proffered "security" part of the Bill was never other than a cynical sham.

Why don't we ask folks how they feel about about amnesty, open borders, and 6-hour catch-and-release records checks?

Posted by: Lou Gots at June 19, 2007 10:33 PM

They favor the first and oppose the last two, but not enough to pay for changing them.

Posted by: oj at June 20, 2007 5:54 AM