Congressman: Senate immigration bill unconstitutional

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Rep. Steve Stockman, a Texas Republican, said Friday that the Senate immigration bill is a revenue measure, which makes it unconstitutional because all revenue bills must start in the House.

“Not only is the Senate amnesty bill an abuse of taxpayers and immigrants, it’s utterly unconstitutional,” Mr. Stockman said. “The Senate cannot invent its own amnesty taxes.”

He called on House Speaker John A. Boehner to officially reject the Senate bill as unconstitutional using what’s known in Congress as the “blue slip” process, which is when the House informs the Senate that one of its bills contains taxes or spending and therefore must come from the House.

Blue slip procedures are considered privileged motions and can be brought quickly to the chamber floor for debate and a final vote.

Article I, Section 7, Clause 1 of the Constitution says that “all bills for raising revenue shall originate in the House,” which has traditionally meant both tax and spending bills.

Mr. Boehner has already said the Senate bill is dead on arrival and won’t be considered in the House, which will work on its own version.

House Republicans are set to meet July 10 to talk about how to proceed on the issue.

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