House to Take Time with Immigration Bill
From the Houston Chronicle:
The House may take the unusual step of conducting hearings on the Senate's immigration bill, which includes the opportunity for citizenship for illegal immigrants, before negotiating on final legislation, House Speaker Dennis Hastert said Tuesday.And, at 343 pages long, there's a lot of S2611 to see. Let's hope that every representative slogs through it before it's up for discussion...and especially those who will be charged with negotiating the agreed version with the senators who are chomping at the bit to git 'er done...
Hastert's position appeared to reflect a growing sense among some House Republicans that they are better off seeking re-election in November without a new immigration law than with a version that includes parts of the Senate's.
"We have to pull the Senate bill and see everything that's in there," Hastert, R-Ill., said, adding, "I want to look at the Senate bill before I make any decisions on anything," including the appointment of House members who would negotiate with senators toward an agreed version of the legislation.
Backers of the Senate bill were surprised Tuesday by Hastert's call for a long review, seeing it as an attempt to kill the bill "by a thousand cuts."NITPICK
"There's a desire to nitpick the Senate bill apart," said Sen. Mel Martinez, R-Fla., a key sponsor. "I think it's unfortunate and I think hearings would only add to that. I don't think that's a good process."
To be concerned with or find fault with insignificant details.
Nitpick? I doubt it, Mel. Unless, of course, you consider amnesty -- which the American people don't want, and a good number of politicians seem unable to define -- an "insignificant detail."
The key architects of the Senate bill, Sens. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., and John McCain, R-Ariz., were similarly annoyed.Just as there are ways and ways of representing the people who elect you. Alas, Kennedy, apparently hasn't discovered any of them. And what's all this "get a good bill" talk? It sounds like he's talking about a touchdown. It may be a game to you, Ted, but we ain't playin'.
"There are ways and ways of opposing the bill, and certainly, one is to refuse to engage in the conference. But I am still hopeful we have a chance to get a good bill," Kennedy said.
Lawmakers will be more reluctant to act during the ensuing fall campaign season, GOP leaders have said.*GASP* Common sense? Did he say COMMON SENSE?
But Hastert said he is putting no deadline on when to start the negotiations, and House Republicans already are struggling with how, or even if, to proceed.
House Republicans should not compromise with the Senate, said Rep. Brian Bilbray, R-Calif., who returned to Congress on Tuesday after winning a special election last week. He said his tight race showed Republicans can win with the idea of controlling the border and cracking down on employers of illegal immigrants.
"When it comes to immigration, forget about political correctness and maintain common sense," Bilbray advised House Republicans.
Huh. Common sense in government. I suppose we could give it a whirl.