The House Republican leadership declared war on the Senate immigration-amnesty bill last week, aptly renaming it “Reid-Kennedy” in honor of Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D.-Nev.) and liberal icon Teddy Kennedy (D.-Mass.).
Reid and Kennedy were instrumental in moving the bill through the Senate—where Republican Sen. Bill Frist (Tenn.) remains nominal majority leader.
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When a reporter, noting the Senate is controlled by Republicans, challenged House Majority Leader John Boehner (R.-Ohio) on renaming the bill, Boehner didn’t miss a beat. “Two-thirds of the votes that passed the bill in the Senate came from Democrats,” he said, “so referring to it as Reid-Kennedy is appropriate.”
Both Boehner and House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R.-Ill.) say they would like to send President Bush an immigration bill, but made clear they will not do so unless major provisions of Reid-Kennedy are dumped and basic provisions of the House bill retained.
They highlighted four significant defects in Reid-Kennedy and five principles the House will not abandon. Reid-Kennedy, they said, would: 1) Allow 60 million new immigrants over 20 years, 2) require the U.S. to consult Mexico before building border barriers, 3) give Social Security benefits to illegals, and 4) allow illegals to pay in-state tuition.
The five key House principles are: 1) Secure the borders, 2) strengthen enforcement and penalties against illegals, 3) enforce the law against employers, 4) no rewards for those who broke immigration laws, and 5) immigrants must learn English and embrace “our common identity as Americans.”
House Republicans will hold hearings around the country in July and August to expose Americans to the facts about Reid-Kennedy and to expose the Washington establishment to the views of Americans on illegal immigration.
If you stand with House Republicans against Reid-Kennedy, let President Bush know today by calling 202-456-1111.
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