The United States Senate is currently debating legislation that would, if enacted, provide a pathway to citizenship for millions. The original bipartisan bill drafted by the “Gang of Eight” senators I supported 100%.
Not now. Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) caved under pressure because an amendment offered by Senators Bob Corker (R-TN) and John Hoeven (R-ND) that would have set a 90% trigger for border security before citizenship could be granted. The big super vote hoped for by the Gang of Eight would likely not happen with this amendment in place.
Senator Schumer decided to entice Mr. Corker and Mr. Hoeven to change their amendment by throwing money at them. In exchange for dropping the 90% border security threshold, Mr. Schumer proposed increasing funds for border security from an already staggering $6.5 billion to an astronomical $30 billion.
For the love of God, have you lost your mind Chuck! Is this the Republican’s sick idea of a job’s bill? Surely we are not going to war with Mexico?
This amendment is bad public policy for three reasons. First, fiscally the money is supposed to come from savings derived from immigration reform. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) recently scored the bill and showed projected savings as high as $900 billion over the next two decades. The fact that the legislation brings in more tax revenue does not mean we should spend it, perhaps unwisely!
That brings me to my second concern. Is there any evidence whatsoever that suggests a “border surge” will actually work? That question should be aired in committee hearings as well as analyzed by the CBO.
Last, can this money even be spent within one year by all the agencies responsible for border security? I would love to see what was in the president’s budget for border security. Those numbers are more than likely the most realistic for what is needed and can be spent over the next fiscal year.
I am fully aware that deals must be cut to pass legislation. But this compromise is idiotic. I could may be see a couple extra billion added for border security, not $24 billion. The amendment process is sufficient enough when the full Senate considers any legislation. Senator Schumer and the rest of the Gang of Eight gave away the house (literally) on this compromise.
Let’s get back to the original bill and pass it expeditiously. The Corker-Hoeven amendment is nothing more than a misdirection play designed to take our eyes off the prize: a pathway to citizenship for millions of illegal immigrants.