Sessions: Special Interest, Extremist Groups Wrote Immigration Bill
Senate Budget Committee ranking member Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) claimed on Breitbart News Sunday that the “Gang of Eight” U.S. Senators did not in fact write the 844-page immigration bill, but special interest groups like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the SEIU, and AFL-CIO and extremist advocacy groups like the National Council of La Raza actually wrote the legislation.
The explosive revelation came during Sessions’ interview with Breitbart News Sunday host and Breitbart News executive chairman Stephen K. Bannon on Sunday evening. “It’s just unbelievable that legislation of this importance is being written in secret. The Gang of Eight claims they wrote it, but really if you saw the news reports Steve, it was always the unions and the Chamber of Commerce was working with La Raza and SEIU and they’re about to reach an agreement. I mean, like, who’s writing this bill?” Sessions said.
The Alabama Republican argued that the Senate should not go forward with the immigration bill because it is a "dangerous" piece of legislation. “It was written by experts who know what they’re doing,” Sessions said. “It was not written by the Gang of Eight themselves. But they have blessed special interests to write and develop and approve each one of those provisions and sections that impact their interest area."
We need to be serving the American interest. If you have a choice, and there’s a job out here that pays an unskilled worker a decent wage with a retirement and healthcare benefit, should it go to somebody who came across the border illegally 18 months ago? Or to an unemployed American who’s on welfare and food stamps right now and unable to take care of his family? Somebody needs to be asking that question. Any party that participates in this and damages the American worker, who we owe our allegiance to and our loyalty to, for some political special interest reason deserves to be held to account by the American people, it seems to me.
Since its release, Sessions and his staff have continually been investigating the core components of the bill and poring over the text trying to find out what the bill actually contains. As Breitbart News has detailed, and Sessions and his staff have found, the talking points Gang of Eight members are using to sell the bill have many times not held up under even the slightest bits of criticism.
“I do not believe from the work we’ve done that the bill comes close to doing what was promised for it," Sessions said on the show. "If it had done all the things they promised it would do, I think we would have far more favorable reviews of it. But the bill wasn’t written to actually do those things.”
As the Center for Immigration Studies has detailed, the bill creates a $150 million slush fund for partisan leftwing groups. CIS analyst Jon Feere notes in a post that this slush fund was inserted into the legislation by “pro-amnesty lobbyists,” those very same special interest groups Sessions claims wrote the actual legislative text. A spokesman for Gang of Eight member Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) defended the slush funds in a quote to Fox News as a means “to make sure that immigrants assimilate, and our proposal makes sure that they do by mandating that they speak English, pass civic tests and have jobs.”
Sessions stated that the conundrum that has led Republicans to supporting such big government handouts dates back further than the misconception that has permeated the right since Mitt Romney lost the election to President Barack Obama. “There’s always been a business, civil rights and Democratic interest in more and expanded immigration and we’ve seen that,” Sessions said. “I think they’ve seized on the Republican failure in the last election and have tried to convince people, and to a degree they’ve been successful, that somehow passing this bill will alter the dynamics and make the Republicans better able to compete."
"But look, you know where the election was lost? In working Americans between say $20,000 and $45,000 a year," Sessions countered.
When Breitbart News Sunday host Stephen K. Bannon asked why “nobody in the Republican establishment says that,” Sessions replied:
I think our people have gone off and met with financial wizards and people who are conservative on Wall Street and the libertarians pretty much seem to be into open borders. Some of them think that way, not all. So you have this – I don’t know. To tell you the truth, I don’t know how there’s so little serious discussion about this problem. It’s almost like if you speak out and raise a question, you’re the skunk at the garden party and you shouldn’t be saying that. There’s been a feeling that nobody should speak out against what happened, that somewhere there’s a group of geniuses that have some sort of political plan for the Republican Party and we’re all just supposed to be quiet and let it all happen.
Ultimately, Sessions said he thinks the groups who wrote the bill are pushing the Gang of Eight to force a vote on it before Memorial Day, a time frame that would not allow the American people to thoroughly examine it, because their lawyers “know what it's going to do.”
“All the lawyers for the special interests have been working for months on this. It is not the way to do the people’s business,” Sessions said. “I’m going to tell you: all these special interests and political interests, they have their needs met."
"They have decided it meets their goals but who’s worrying about the working Americans?" Sessions declared. "The ones who fight our wars and defend our country and raise their children right making $20,000 to $45,000 who will have their wages pulled down, who will find it harder to get a job, will find it harder for their children and grandchildren to get jobs that pay a decent wage with a decent benefit?”
Sessions said the bill is complicated and so difficult-to-read that it appears more like “gobbledygook” than legislation.
Breitbart News’ Tony Lee contributed to this piece.