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Reid Blocks Senate Bill...Again

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  • Reid Blocks Senate Bill...Again

    Did anyone watch C-Span today?

    Sen. McConnell asked for unanimous consent to attach the CIR bill to the House Tax bill, but Harry Reid objected. He stated that if this was done, the Democrats would first like to add amendments to the House Tax bill. McConnell shot back stating that those ammendments could be added to the upcoming Death Tax bill, but Reid refused effectively stalling the bill in the Senate.

    Had Reid allowed the unanimous consent, the CIR bill would have been attached to the House bill and would have gone back to the House where it would have to be voted on before it goes to Conference.

  • #2
    Did anyone watch C-Span today?

    Sen. McConnell asked for unanimous consent to attach the CIR bill to the House Tax bill, but Harry Reid objected. He stated that if this was done, the Democrats would first like to add amendments to the House Tax bill. McConnell shot back stating that those ammendments could be added to the upcoming Death Tax bill, but Reid refused effectively stalling the bill in the Senate.

    Had Reid allowed the unanimous consent, the CIR bill would have been attached to the House bill and would have gone back to the House where it would have to be voted on before it goes to Conference.

    Comment


    • #3
      Got to hand it to him...this guy knows what he's doing...


      Reid's Winning Hand On Immigration
      National Review Online: Democratic Leader Is In A Win-Win Situation

      June 8, 2006
      --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
      The Las Vegas lawmaker has a preferred stance on the immigration issue. (AP)


      Quote

      "The closer the Democrats can push this toward the election, the more leverage they have "” particularly if the White House desperately wants a bill."

      --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

      A Republican political consultant


      (National Review Online) This column was written by Gary Andres.
      --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
      Leader Harry Reid likes the hand he's been dealt on immigration. As the Nevada lawmaker knows, win-win scenarios are rare both in Las Vegas and in politics. But Reid may have beaten the odds. Under the two most likely outcomes in the immigration debate "” no bill or a bad bill (that is, one that includes an amnesty) "” unless the dynamics change, Republicans lose.

      Most think no immigration bill will reach the president before the election. If this turns out to be the case, opponents of comprehensive immigration reform can claim victory, saying they stopped bad legislation that provides a pathway to citizenship for illegal aliens. This might help politically in certain Republican congressional districts. Proponents of a "secure the borders only" legislative strategy may not think this is an optimal result, but they probably believe no bill is preferable to a bad bill. But whether no bill is preferable to a bad bill and whether no bill would hurt Republicans are two distinct questions.

      Another school of thought argues the "no bill" scenario hurts Republicans. Some GOP political consultants, Republican lawmakers, and certainly the White House hold this view. They argue that Americans believe immigration is a major national issue and maintain that the public is uniquely fixated on what Washington produces on this question, certainly compared to other matters on today's legislative agenda. Failure to produce "” according to this view "” offers another example of dysfunctional government under Republican control. How long until pundits write: "The gang that squandered the budget surplus, bungled pre-war intelligence on Iraq, and mismanaged Katrina can't find an answer to one of the nation's most pressing problems after arguing about it all year? What's the point of controlling the House, the Senate, and the White House after all?"

      "No bill" will no doubt mean scorn for Republicans as another example of a problem to which they can't find a solution. But if there is a compromise, particularly one that provides a path to citizenship for those who entered the country illegally, conservative activists and presumably many GOP base voters could seriously undermine the party's prospects in the 2006 election.

      So what's Harry Reid doing to avoid either outcome? Not much, as it turns out, because both scenarios strengthen his hand. Reid was responsible for negotiating a highly unusual unanimous consent agreement with Republican Leader Bill Frist, which "pre-agreed" on the number and ratio of conferees (26 total, 14 Republicans and 12 Democrats) before the Senate even passed its version of immigration legislation. As a House GOP leadership aide told me, "You don't get the signal from the other body that they are serious about reaching a conclusion on this matter when they say they want to appoint over a quarter of the Senate to negotiate it."

      Another problem arose this week when the House indicated it would raise objections to a revenue-raising provision included in the Senate bill. Because the Origination Clause of the Constitution stipulates that all revenue matters must originate in the House, the Senate bill would be "blue slipped" (a procedure whereby the House immediately returns the Senate bill with a resolution printed on blue paper, hence the name). Fixing the problem is straightforward. In legislative lingo, you take up a House-passed revenue bill, not yet acted upon by the Senate, strip out everything in the bill, and substitute the Senate immigration bill. Then voila "” the Senate bill has an H.R. number and the Origination Clause problem is solved.

      Senate Republican leaders proposed that approach to Reid last week, and he said no. Why? "The closer the Democrats can push this toward the election, the more leverage they have "” particularly if the White House desperately wants a bill," a Republican political consultant told me this week.

      Reid seems pretty content with how the debate is playing out. He's got a commitment to include a large number of Senate Democrats in the conference, which probably slows down the whole process because it makes negotiating more unwieldy, while protecting his institutional and political prerogatives. If Republicans get desperate and want a bill, he'll demand something the Republican base will call amnesty, which hurts conservatives in the mid-term election. And if nothing happens, he can call the Republican Congress and GOP president impotent in dealing with a major national issue.

      There is a third way, which looks like a long shot at the moment. Republicans and the White House could agree on a bill that includes tough border security, sanctions on employers who hire illegals, and a new guest worker program that provides legal status for temporary workers but does not provide a path to citizenship to those who enter the country illegally. A bill like that could pass the House, but whether it could overcome a Reid-led Democrat filibuster is unclear. A Democrat effort to kill a bill like that right before the election might help Republicans. Unfortunately for the GOP, the first two scenarios look more likely. And while I don't think Harry Reid is a betting man, based on the overall outlook for immigration reform, he's been dealt a pretty strong hand.


      Gary Andres is vice chairman of research and policy at the Dutko Group Companies and an NRO contributor.

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