Congress returns to work tomorrow after the Independence Day break, and all eyes will be on the GOP-led House of Representatives and what they're going to do about immigration.
All indications are that the House wants to work on specific parts of the Senate's bill, but not the whole enchilada. But instead of going through the platitudes of hearing House Republicans bemoan all what's wrong with the Senate's bill, we got a little bit of fireworks on this post-4th broadcast between Idaho Representative Paul Labrador and the New York Times David Brooks on NBC's Meet The Press (this comes on at about 7:45 of the video).
Labrador: If you give to this adminstration the authority to decide when they’re going to enforce the law, how they’re going to enforce the law, and you tell them that it’s okay if they decide if there’s going to be 20,000 border patrol agents, or they get to determine when the border is secure?” Labrador said. “I can tell you that Janet Napolitano has already said that the border is secure. So what’s going to happen is we’re going to give legalization to 11 million people, and Janet Napolitano is going to come to Congress and tell us that the border is secure and nothing else needs to happen.
Brooks I’ve seen a lot of intellectually weak cases in this town. I’ve rarely seen as intellectually a weak case as the case against the Senate immigraiton bill. The Republicans say they want to reduce illegal immigration; the Congressional Budget Office says the Senate bill will reduce it by a third to half. They say they want economic growth; all the top conservative economists say it’ll produce economic growth. They say they want to reduce the debt; the CBO says it will reduce the debt. All the big major objectives the Republicans stand for, the Senate immigration bill will do. The other things they’re talking about are secondary and tertiary issues. Whether we get 86% border protection or 90%—compared to the big things this bill does, they’re miniscule. I’m mystified.
Labrador: I’m sorry, what I just heard was totally ridiculous. If you listen to what the CBO said, they said that it’s going to be between one-third and fifty percent reduction in illegal immigration. That means that every five years we’re going to have to do another amnesty…For somebody to sit here on national TV and say that it is actually a weak argument for us to argue that we want 90% security is beyond the pale.
Brooks: The CBO said it would reduce it by a third to fifty percent, and what I heard the congressman saying is he won’t support it because we’d have to go back and do a Reagan.
Labrador: That’s not what I said! Don’t put words in my mouth.
Brooks: The current law produces ‘X’ much illegal immigration. This law cuts it significantly. It’s better than the current law. Generally when something is better than what we got, generally you want to support that thing.
Later in the discussion, NBC's Chuck Todd referenced how Republican Senators Mitch McConnell and John Cornyn recently threatened the leaders of six professional sports leagues (the NFL, MLB, NHL, NBA, NASCAR and the PGA) that partnering with the administration to publicize the benefits of the Affordable Care Act would damage their reputations.
“It is difficult for us to remember another occasion when major sports league took public sides in such a highly polarized public debate,” McConnell and Cornyn wrote. “Yet given this administration’s public request of your assistance in promoting this unpopular law, we felt it important to provide you with a fuller accounting of the facts before you made such a decision.”
Taking public sides? The A/C/A (i.e., Obamacare) is federal law now. But the commissioners got the hint, and all have backed off in promoting the law.