Thursday, June 27, 2013

Comprehensive Immigration Bill Passed The Senate... Now What?


Today, just after noon, the Senate broke the last-ditch attempt by the GOP racists and bigots to filibuster the bill. The vote for cloture was 68-32, Chambliss and Portman voting with the bad guys. A few hours later a solid majority in the Senate-- every Democrat and 14 Republicans-- overwhelmingly passed the bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform bill 68-32. Democrats, of course, over-compromised to get more GOP votes-- militarizing the borders, wasting billions of taxpayer dollars on bullshit that the Republicans insisted on and confiscating the Social Security contributions of millions of undocumented workers. Senate Republicans who voted for it, absolutely insisted on their pound of flesh. Democrats, as usual, were too weak and lame to fight back effectively.

These were the Republicanos who voted with the Democrats:

• Lamar Alexander (TN)
• Kelly Ayotte (NH)
• Jeff Chiesa (NJ)
• Susan Collins (ME)
• Bob Corker (TN)
• Jeff Flake (AZ)
• Lindsey Graham (SC)
• Orrin Hatch (UT)
• Dean Heller (NV)
• John Hoeven (ND)
• Mark Kirk (IL)
• John McCain (AZ)
• Lisa Murkowski (AK)
• Marco Rubio (FL)
One of the most progressive members of the Senate, Brian Schatz (D-HI), fought hard to make the bill better. Right after teh vote, he said "While this bill does not accomplish everything I hoped for, it will move us much closer to where we should be as a free and open society, bringing 11 million people out of the shadows and giving our economy a boost. Now, as the bill heads to the House and, hopefully, to President Obama’s desk, I was proud to cast my 'yes' vote-- but I am also proud to recommit to fighting for legislation that will make this bill a better one for Hawaii, in particular by passing stronger protections for family reunification."

Now the bill goes over to the House, where teabaggers and other racists have made it clear that they will depose Boehner as Speaker if he allows a vote on it.
“There gets to be a point in time where there is the proverbial straw that breaks the camel’s back,” Rep. Matt Salmon (R-AZ) said Wednesday, arguing that if Boehner violates the Hastert Rule again on the issue, “I think that a lot of members in the conference would probably be frustrated to the point of looking for new leaders.”

Speaking at a Capitol Hill panel organized by the Heritage Foundation, Salmon said there’s “great unrest” among Republicans about the violations of the majority-of-the-majority principle this year. GOP leaders have this year brought up four bills without the support of most House Republicans-- including legislation to avert the fiscal cliff, provide aid to Hurricane Sandy victims and reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act.

Rep. Tom McClintock (R-CA) issued the same threat.

“The American people elected a Republican majority to the House of Representatives,” McClintock said. “Were a leader of that majority to use his authority to circumvent that majority would be cause for removal in my judgment.”

...Rep. Raul Labrador (R-ID) said Republicans are “running around like chickens with our heads cut off thinking that we have to do [immigration reform] for political reasons.” He said the farm bill fiasco last week was “very instructive” for Republicans, arguing that the legislation failed because GOP leaders relied on Democrats.

“So our leadership needs to take a lesson from this: Stop negotiating with Democrats,” he said. “Start doing what is the right policy-- the right conservative policy for America.”

Salmon said he’s organizing an internal GOP petition to codify the Hastert Rule and that he’s making good progress. “I do believe most members of our conference will believe that legislation that we pass should be majority legislation,” he said.
Is Boehner worried? Well, you tell me. This is what he said yesterday at a press conference, following orders from Bill Kristol: “For any legislation, including a conference report, to pass the House, it’s going to have to be a bill that has the support of a majority of our members." That's very bad news for everyone who wants to see immigration reform because a majority of the House-- a big majority-- favors it, but a majority of House Republicans are dyed-in-the-wool racists and xenophobes and they oppose it. Even with Republican leaders like Cantor, McCarthy and Ryan urging Republicans not to commit part suicide by opposing this, most Republicans are paying attention to extremist groups, Hate Talk Radio hosts and bigots inside the caucus like Bachmann, Gohmert, King, Broun, Gingrey and the other House hatemongers. So, yeah, it's great that the Republican filibusters were beaten back in the Senate and great that the Senate finally passed the whole bill, but... now what? Will Boehner kill the dreams of millions of Americans and make it official that the GOP is anti-immigrant-- just because he's a wretched political coward?

Right after the vote Congressional progressive Caucus co-chair Raul Grijalva, fired a warning shot over Boehner's bow: “This is a time to move together on a bipartisan basis and really do the people’s business. Speaker Boehner can show some leadership or keep playing the same political games that have Congress’ approval rating at a historic low. The American people are watching every step of this process very closely, and the next step is letting the House take a vote. Hiding and making excuses are not on the table.”

And a statement from El Presidente... putting mucho pressure on Señor Boehner:
The bipartisan bill that passed today was a compromise. By definition, nobody got everything they wanted. Not Democrats. Not Republicans. Not me. But the Senate bill is consistent with the key principles for commonsense reform that I-- and many others-- have repeatedly laid out.

If enacted, the Senate bill would establish the most aggressive border security plan in our history. It would offer a pathway to earned citizenship for the 11 million individuals who are in this country illegally-- a pathway that includes passing a background check, learning English, paying taxes and a penalty, and then going to the back of the line behind everyone who’s playing by the rules and trying to come here legally. It would modernize the legal immigration system so that it once again reflects our values as a nation and addresses the urgent needs of our time. And it would provide a big boost to our recovery, by shrinking our deficits and growing our economy.

Today, the Senate did its job. It’s now up to the House to do the same.

As this process moves forward, I urge everyone who cares about this issue to keep a watchful eye. Now is the time when opponents will try their hardest to pull this bipartisan effort apart so they can stop commonsense reform from becoming a reality. We cannot let that happen. If you’re among the clear majority of Americans who support reform-- from CEOs to labor leaders, law enforcement to clergy-- reach out to your Member of Congress. Tell them to do the right thing. Tell them to pass commonsense reform so that our businesses and workers are all playing by the same rules and everyone who’s in this country is paying their fair share in taxes. 

We have a unique opportunity to fix our broken system in a way that upholds our traditions as a nation of laws and a nation of immigrants. We just need Congress to finish the job.

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At 7:39 PM, Anonymous Bil said...

Seems a fair trade to me. Boehner must know his days are numbered.

Put it up for a vote, PASS it with the help of Democraps and get the hell out of that job.

No more tears Johnboy.

I DO like the alternative though---> the wrath of the educated and diverse ON what little is left of the Republicant party. So sad.

At 11:13 AM, Anonymous me said...

Fuck Boehner. He's part of the machine that created the Teabagger Frankenstein monster, so if they turn around and eat him, that's fine with me.

At 11:20 AM, Anonymous me said...

This "majority of the majority" bullshit is exactly the factionalism that brought down so many early experiments in democracy. That is why James Madison tried hard to prevent factions from being able to take over Congress.

Let's hope that republicans fail to defeat Madison's safeguards.


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