- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 6, 2006

Immigration reform remained mired in the Senate yesterday, but Minority Leader Harry Reid indicated there may be some room for compromise.

Legislation has been stalled for weeks on constitutional grounds that prevent the Senate from writing bills that raise revenue. Because the Senate legislation includes a requirement that illegal aliens pay back taxes, it must originate in the House.

Majority Leader Bill Frist offered a solution by attaching the bill to tax legislation that had already passed the House. Mr. Reid has rejected that solution.

Republicans “think there’s a problem because they want a problem,” Mr. Reid said yesterday. “They don’t want to go to conference.”

But, he also added that he’s at least willing to consider the idea.

“I’ve got another idea for them,” Mr. Reid told reporters yesterday. “If they want to use another bill, a tax bill, instead of the House-passed immigration bill, then let them come to me with how they’re going to not have this as a Christmas tree of tax measures. It’s up to them. If they want use a tax bill, let’s see what they can come up with to protect the Senate’s position on immigration.”

House Republican leaders accuse Mr. Reid of sitting on the bill to prevent the Republican Congress for taking credit for reforming the country’s immigration laws in an election year.

“Unfortunately, the minority leader over there, Harry Reid, continues to stand in the way of getting to a conference,” House Majority Leader John A. Boehner said yesterday. “And I think he ought to quit playing politics with this issue and let us get to work on solving this problem of illegal immigration.”

The House, meanwhile, approved an amendment by Rep. Jack Kingston, Georgia Republican, to bar any Department of Homeland Security money from being used to alert the Mexican government about the location or activities of the volunteer Minutemen patrolling the border.

In a letter to colleagues, Mr. Kingston urged support “in ensuring our U.S. Border Patrol does not tip off the Mexican government about the location of Minutemen Civil Defense Corps patrols. This amendment will send a message that we will not tolerate such actions.”

The letter cites press reports from earlier this year suggesting that the Border Patrol had been tipping off Mexican officials about Minutemen activities.

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times is switching its third-party commenting system from Disqus to Spot.IM. You will need to either create an account with Spot.im or if you wish to use your Disqus account look under the Conversation for the link "Have a Disqus Account?". Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide