Thursday, July 11, 2013

How to Kill a Bill (& One's Party's Future)

It wasn't supposed to be this way. Republicans were supposed to be embracing comprehensive immigration reform (CIR) as they recognized their need to change. That clearly has not happened.

Even in January, we started noticing the warning signs. By May, it was becoming increasingly clear that the 21st Century Know Nothings want nothing to do with any kind of CIR. Even as S 744 easily passed the Senate last month, its future was quickly thrown into doubt as the G-O-TEA led House began looking for politically palatable ways to kill the bill.

And now, they believe they've found one.

House Republicans are embracing a step-by-step approach to immigration, in contrast to the sweeping plan passed by the Senate and backed by the White House. But they’re offering neither specifics nor a timetable — nor any mention of possible citizenship for an estimated 11 million immigrants living in the country unlawfully.

Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and other Republican leaders said in a statement the administration “cannot be trusted to deliver on its promises to secure the border and enforce laws as part of a single, massive bill like the one passed by the Senate.”

House GOP lawmakers streaming out of a two-hour meeting on immigration Wednesday also shrugged off a long-distance nudge from former President George W. Bush, who called on Congress to reach a “positive resolution” on the issue. “America can be a lawful society and a welcoming society at the same time,” Bush said at a naturalization ceremony at his presidential library in Dallas.

“We care what people back home say, not what some former president says,” declared Rep. Tim Huelskamp, R-Kan.

Rep. Huelskamp then went on to insult another Former President with pediphilia laced "humor". Ummm... Stay klassy, G-O-TEA!

Of course, what's truly disturbing about this is that House G-O-TEA "leaders" are ignoring the plight of real families across the nation, their party's own political future, and even the recent action of their Senate colleagues! Comprehensive reform is supposed to be comprehensive. The only way any of S 744 can realistically become law is if the entire bill is passed. And the only way any kind of comprehensive bill can pass is if there's compromise on all sides. Progressives have already had to compromise quite a bit to pass any kind of comprehensive bill. Why won't this bloc of House conservatives do the same?

At least one Nevada Republican is now stepping forward to address this nonsense.

“My question is, who’s doing the earned status piece … for the 11 million? And it hasn’t been answered yet,” Nevada Republican Rep. Mark Amodei, a member of the House Judiciary committee, said in an interview this week. “I’m going to spend this week finding out who’s bringing a bill, and when are we bringing it. Because I feel like you have to have the discussion on both sides of the Capitol to do the issue justice.” [...]

“I don’t know what the definition of amnesty is, but listen, if you have to go through and do all these things that are tougher and longer than somebody who came here legally, and you’ve gotta succeed in those, that’s earned status, that’s not amnesty,” Amodei said. “I assume that we will be having that discussion in the House.”

So far, Rep. Mark Amodei (R-Carson City) has offered promising rhetoric on CIR. Unfortunately, he has not always offered the votes to match that rhetoric. So why can't he and Rep. Joe Heck (R-Henderson) can correct this by offering House legislation that can easily be reconciled with S 744.

So will they do this? Or are they really not all that upset with the impending demise of CIR in Congress? Only time (and their actions) will tell

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