- NYT’s David Brooks: Obama has ‘manhood problem’ in Middle East
- Ted Cruz thanks Obama for denying visas to terrorists
- Survivors recall chaos, fear in Everest avalanche
- General Mills apologizes for ‘right to sue’ confusion, reverses policy
- Dealer wanted in U.S. for art fraud nabbed in Spain
- Easter morning delivery for space station
- Boxer Rubin ‘Hurricane’ Carter dies at 76
- Probe could complicate Rick Perry’s prospects
- Ukraine, Russia trade blame for eastern shootout
- Obamas head to church on Easter morning
DHS management problems could hinder immigration bill: audit
The chairman of the SenateJudiciary Committee introduced amendments Tuesday to grant gay couples the same immigration rights as other married couples, setting up a key hurdle for the immigration bill.
Amendments were due Tuesday if they were to be part of the debate that begins Thursday in the Judiciary Committee. The dozens of changes filed by senators signal a bloody fight ahead as some Democrats seek to make the bill more generous, some Republicans seek a deeper crackdown, and the legislation’s sponsors try to hold a tenuous center.
Sen. Jeff Sessions, an Alabama Republican who has taken the lead in fighting to stop the bill, introduced 49 amendments, including limiting the overall level of legal immigration allowed under the bill, or requiring the full 700 miles of reinforced fencing Congress called for back in 2006, but which was only partially built.
And Sen. Chuck Grassley, the ranking Republican on the committee, introduced 77 amendments.
The gay rights fight already is getting attention as a major sticking point because it will put majority Democrats on the spot.
Sen. Patrick J. Leahy, the committee chairman, introduced two different versions: One would apply to “permanent partners,” which critics said could invite widespread fraud. The other would only apply to same-sex couples who are legally married, which given the laws in various states would dramatically limit who could qualify.
“For immigration reform to be truly comprehensive, it must include protections for all families,” the Vermont Democrat said. “We must end the discrimination that gay and lesbian families face in our immigration law.”
His amendment, though, will test Democrats who want to see a bill pass but also want to expand it.
The eight senators — four Democrats and four Republicans — who wrote the bill now must decide how they will approach the amendments.
In 2007, the last time the Senate debated a bill, the sponsors had a deal to oppose all major amendments and to try to keep the basic agreement intact. But that tactic failed as Democrats attached an amendment limiting the size of a future guest-worker program. The bill collapsed under opposition from both ends of the political spectrum.
As of Tuesday evening, the Judiciary Committee had posted 130 amendments from six members of the committee — and that didn’t include Mr. Sessions’ 49 amendments, nor those of 11 other committee members.
The sheer weight of those amendments presages a long fight in committee before the bill even reaches the floor.
Republicans still felt the entire debate was rushed, given that the final version of the main 867-page bill was introduced just last week.
He said the bill falls short of the promises its sponsors made to build a border fence, to have illegal immigrants pay back taxes and to prevent them from gaining public benefits.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Stephen Dinan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- No comment on petition to deport Bieber
- Red-state Democrats blast latest Keystone delay
- 'Deport Bieber' petition draws no comment from White House
- Obama signs law denying Iran ambassador's visa, but says law is 'advisory'
- Keystone XL pipeline still on hold after State Dept. decision
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
Women losing coverage under Obamacare, too
- Former Ranger breaks silence on Pat Tillman death: I may have killed him
- Special Forces' suicide rates hit record levels casualties of 'hard combat'
- Scalia to students on high taxes: At a certain point, 'perhaps you should revolt'
- Tactical advantage: Russian military shows off impressive new gear
- USAID documents cite Hillary Clinton in chaos of Afghan aid
- EXCLUSIVE: FBI blocked in corruption probe involving Sens. Reid, Lee
- U.S. Navy to turn seawater into jet fuel
- Army goes to war with National Guard, seizes Apache attack helicopters
- Study: Children fare better in traditional mom-dad families
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.