Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Senator Heller Tips His Hand on Immigration Reform (?)

Ever since the start of the 113th Congress, we've been looking at the effort to pass comprehensive immigration reform (CIR). There have been many ups and downs this year. But ultimately, Senator Dean Heller (R-46%) has been viewed as a key to passing CIR this year. And so far, he's been awfully mum on what he ppans to do to the Senate CIR bill (S 744).

Today, we finally caught a glimpse of what Senator Heller has been holding close to his vest. He actually dropped an amendment to S 744. Oh, and Senator Harry Reid (D-Searchlight) is also behind this amendment. So what's in this amendment? It just adds Nevada to the Southern Border Commission overseeing implementation of immigration reform (along with California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas).

In addition to this, Senator Heller just introduced two more amendments. These two direct more resources to security in Nevada airports. So that's all? Are these the price for Senator Heller's support for S 744?

Ralston seems to think so. I, however, still feel somewhat skeptical. After all, just last week, we saw an outbreak of "TEA" fueled chicanery as the Senate debated the Cornyn Amendment. And in case that wasn't enough, the House engaged in its own "TEA" fueled chicanery as it passed the King Amendment to deport DREAMers!

Now yes, recent signs have been more encouraging. But on the other hand, Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas) is still pushing his amendment (meant to kill the underlying purpose of the bill). And on top of this, "Tea Party, Inc." bosses are demanding that House Speaker John Boehner (R-Clockwork Orange) only agree to send an immigration bill to the Senate floor that has majority Republican support... And that also has potential to kill CIR this year.

Yet amidst all this, Senator Heller released his benign amendments today. So is CIR still alive? That seems to be the case in the Senate... For now.

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