Hamilton, Madison, and Jay

This blog is devoted to a variety of topics including politics, current events, legal issues, and we even take the time to have some occasional fun. After all, blogging is about having a little fun, right?

Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

Who are we? We're a married couple who has a passion for politics and current events. That's what this site is about. If you read us, you know what we stand for.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Immigration deal coming back to the Senate

You knew it wasn't dead. You knew it was only a matter of time. FOX News is reporting a new backroom deal reached by supporters and that Reid will bring the bill back next week:

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid will approve a new deal on immigration on Thursday and move to bring the once-dead legislation back to the Senate floor next week, Democratic sources told FOX News.

Details of the immigration compromise remain to be finalized, but top Democratic sources say Reid has closely monitored the behind-the-scenes dickering over policy changes and a finite list of amendments due for consideration. Based on the latest updates on the policy and amendments, Reid will approve the compromise and move late Thursday to put the bill back on the calendar for Senate consideration in the middle of next week.

"He's going to bless it and he's going to get the Senate back in the business of dealing with immigration," said a source in the Democratic Senate leadership.

The principal change to the bipartisan immigration compromise that Reid shelved last week is the addition of $4.4 billion in added border security spending. That money will be added to the base bill to return to the floor. Any other changes to the immigration bill will have to be made through the amendment process.

The base immigration bill seeks to tighten border security, put an estimated 12 million illegal immigrants on a path to permanent residency and create a temporary worker program.

Republican leaders have promised to produce enough votes to curtail debate on the bill and proceed to final passage. Last week's impasse arose after Reid twice failed to collect the 60 votes necessary to limit debate and move toward final passage.

With the GOP votes in hand and a finite list of amendments to be offered by 11 Democratic and 11 Republican senators, Democratic sources said Reid is now determined to see whether the legislation can survive the amendment process intact. If it does, the Senate could vote on final passage of the bill by next Friday, Democratic sources said.

GOP sources tell FOX News that the new bill has enough support from Republicans for Reid to prevail on a procedural vote to get the bill to final passage.

Earlier in the day, President Bush agreed to the plan in hopes of winning over fellow Republicans.
"We're going to show the American people that the promises in this bill will be kept," Bush said in a speech to the Associated Builders and Contractors.

An earlier procedural vote on June 7 failed to get the 60 votes necessary to curtail debate, a defeat Reid said forced him to pull the bill.

That maneuver drastically diminished prospects for comprehensive immigration reform, but a tenacious lobbying effort by top Bush administration officials and the bipartisan architects of the so-called "grand compromise" have kept the bill on life support.

Many hurdles to passing the Senate bill remain. Still, efforts to revive the bill appear to have more momentum than at any time since Reid pulled the bill from the floor. All sides agree if a commitment to passing the bill isn't agreed to this week, the bill is likely to die.

First off, get those fingers ready and prep the speed-dial: 202-224-3121. Second, many of our e-mailers have commented that some senator's e-mail links won't work for them because they're not residents of said senator's state. Easy way around that one folks. Locate a zip code int he state in question, and enter that, then type to your heart's content. The people in the Senate don't just represent their states, they represent the entire nation. We may not have a say in Ted Kennedy being reelected, but I'll be damned if the bloated blowhard is going to duck calls from across the nation when he screws up.

Third, we're calling for peopel to prepare to levy pressure on Congress again because we don't think these amendments are really going to benefit this legislation, and make it better than it already is. Pearls on a pig are still misplaced no matter how pretty they may look, and that's what this bill is to begin with. Remember, the president and his supporters basically told the american public "no comprende" two weeks ago when we lost our tempers, and flooded DC with enough anger that a few senators opted to stay in DC over their Memorial Day break rather than return home and face an angry constituency.

Furthermore, why is the Senate, again, violating the Constitution? They are placing a spending measure -- namely the money allocated for security and enforcement -- in the bill when this is clearly the role of the House. Article I, Section 7 is explicit in meaning that the house controls the purse strings. While Article I, Section 8 states that both Houses deal with spending, the Senate may amend the bill to include extra spending, but no spending bills can originate there. If this interpretation is correct, and I believe it is, the Senate will hand themselves defeat if it passes because the House may use a procedural move called "blue-slipping." In short, the house sends the legislation back to the Senate with a note attached -- the "blue slip" -- infomring them they have overstepped their Constitutional boundaries. With a majority in the House, they can enforce the blue slip, and force the Senate to remove such revenue related measures.

This whole issue would've been a helluva lot easier had they just shelved this, and had both Houses go over this bill. Furthermore, the enforcement and security provisions should be passed in a separate bill, as I explained earlier today, with the guarantee that nothing involving regularization will be initiated until those provisions are met.

congress can save itself a world of headaches if they step back, take a deep breath, and approach this bill sensibly and logically instead of playing on emotions, and declaring those opposed to the bill as fear-mongering nativists. We aren't. But we will be the ones footing the bill for this fiasco if it passes.

Publius II

ADDENDUM: Michelle Malkin has some good news. We still have one person fighting the $4.4 billion bribe offered by the administration. His name is Jim DeMint:

“I appreciate the effort to fund border security, but there’s simply no reason why we should be forced to tie amnesty to it. If the administration was serious about fulfilling the border security promises, then this funding should have been supported all along, not offered at the last minute to attract votes to a bad bill.”

“We have a serious problem with our immigration system, but this mess of a bill is not the solution. It puts amnesty before security, contains loopholes for criminals, and will increase the burden on taxpayers.”

“All of the border security triggers in this bill can already be implemented under current law. It is unfortunate that the bill supporters continue to hold border security hostage in return for passage of amnesty. Instead, they need to prove to the American people that they will secure the border first.”

Publius II


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