RUSH: “Hastert Deals Blow to Immigration.” This is al-AP reporting, Suzanne Gamboa. “Hopes for a quick compromise on immigration were dealt a blow Tuesday after House Speaker Dennis Hastert said he wanted to take a ‘long look’ at a Senate bill offering possible citizenship to millions of illegal immigrants. Hastert said hearings on the Senate bill should be held before appointing anyone to a House-Senate committee to negotiate a compromise immigration bill. Later, he said he was unsure what the House’s next move would be. ‘We’re going to take a long look at it,’ Hastert said late Tuesday.”
Which is good! It’s over 500 pages. This is sort of unprecedented.
“House Majority Leader John Boehner agreed. ‘I think we should know clearly what’s in the Senate bill,’ Boehner said. But he added there are lots of ways to understand its contents. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, also scheduled a hearing for Monday to review provisions in the bill requiring employers to verify that their workers are legal. Cornyn said he opposes a provision allowing workers [Get this!] to use up to 20 documents to verify they are legal workers.” That means they wouldn’t have to have a total of 20. They could use any one of 20 different kinds of documents to prove they are legal.
“Also, the Department of Homeland Security has raised concerns about how quickly it must have in place an electronic system that employers will use to verify their workers legal status… ‘This will give us a chance to look at it in more detail,’ Cornyn said. Sending a bill that has already passed the Senate to hearings would be a highly unusual move and make completing a final bill before Congress goes on its summer recess in August far less likely. Disagreement on procedural issue[s] has kept negotiations from starting, but there were hopes that could be resolved this week. ‘It’s an obvious retreat from where we are,’ said Jim Manley, spokesman for [Dingy] Harry Reid, D-Nev.”
All right. Now. Let me explain this to you. It’s a large bill in the Senate. There are some things in it that are at present unconstitutional. The Senate cannot originate spending bills, and they do in this bill by getting into when illegals have to and don’t have to and how much they have to, pay back taxes. So that has to be dealt with. But there are 500 pages here, and it is safe to assume that not every senator has read every page and understands what he voted for or against in this bill. This happened at lightning speed for the Senate. So the House… The argument has always been: “We gotta get a bill! We gotta get a bill! Even if it’s a bad bill, we gotta get a bill. If they don’t get a bill in the Republican-controlled Congress, if they don’t get a bill, why, what will that say of the president? It will make him look like a lame duck. Oh, no! We gotta get a bill.”
So the pressure has been just approve this thing so we can say that we’ve engaged in comprehensive immigration reform. Well, the House is different than the Senate in a key political sense: members of the House have to stand for reelection every two years. As such, they are required to know where their constituents are, and the House of Representatives can be used as the best gauge of where Americans are, issue by issue by issue — and on this one, on this issue of immigration, as dealt with by the Senate bill, Republicans in the House have had to weigh two options. “Okay, do we cave on this one like we’ve caved on” a number of things here that we’ve disagreed with: the Medicare entitlement, the education bill that Ted Kennedy wrote, a number of things that they’ve had to bite the bullet on in supporting a Republican president.
“Do we bite the bullet here and just sign off on this thing and make the president look good, or do we listen to our constituents?” A lot of the senators, you know, only one-third of them are up for election every two years, and the senators that are not up for reelection are the ones that have voted, in most cases, for this particular Senate bill, figuring that voters will forget all about this by the time two or four more years go down the pike and these guys in the Senate run for reelection. So what’s best? Is it no bill if it’s a bad bill, or they go to conference and try to make chicken salad out of this, or do we stall it and make it look like we’re working?
And the pressure? You can’t believe, folks, the pressure that is on Republicans in the House to vote this thing out and get a bill; go to conference and send something up to the president. The pressure to get a bill, “legislation for legislation’s sake.” Well, that’s the wrong reason to do anything — for the sake of it. I don’t care if it’s legislation or acquiring power. You have to have purpose, principle guiding you, and if you’re going to do a bill just to get a bill, it’s obviously going to be bad; it’s going to be a mistake, and these guys in the House, the Republicans in the House, facing reelection? It looks like they’ve made a decision. It looks like Speaker Hastert has media decision. It looks like they’re putting pressure on the Senate.
(paraphrased) “We’re going to look at your bill. If we don’t like it, I don’t know where there’s even grounds for compromise here.” It’s very interesting to watch this because the pressure, as I say, on these guys to vote this thing out and give the president something he can sign is incredible, but I think you’re going to see them resist it — and, by the way, just so you know, you can do this any time. There’s no need to do this now, particularly as this Senate bill is written. It’s horrible. There’s a way to do this right, and if it takes the next term, if it takes next year, fine! The pressure to do it now is purely political. The pressure to get it done now is not based on, “Oh my God, this is so bad we’ve got to fix it,” because this doesn’t fix it. This exacerbates the problem of illegal immigration.
RUSH: Have you heard — and I swore, folks, if I ever heard this phrase again, I would bleep it, but now I’m going to use it. We’ve heard these august members of the Senate tell us that the purpose of the Senate is, they are “the saucer that cools the heated coffee, tea, water, as it spills out of the cup, and this cooling process is where reasoned analysis takes place to take the emotion out.” Well, what’s happened is a reversal here. It is the House of Representatives that has become the saucer that is cooling the fevered tensions going on in the Senate.
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