Immigration Day: 'Gang of Eight' Republicans, Once Critical of Obamacare, Go All-In


Immigration Bill

The Senate is expected to vote on the 1200 page immigration bill on Monday afternoon. The new immigration legislation, which incorporates changes from the Corker–Hoeven amendment, was dumped on the laps of Senate staffs on Friday, leaving members and their offices 75 hours to read through all the pages. 

None of the four Republicans on the "Gang of Eight" that drafted the original legislation has spoken out against the tactic. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) once promised he would not support an immigration bill that was rushed, but he has remained silent on the issue.

However, the same Gang of Eight members did complain about the same tactic that was used by Senate Democratic leadership during the Obamacare debate. Below are video clips of these members giving floor speeches or interviews commenting about the long, unread, jammed through health care bill.

Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ):

FLAKE: "The case for passing legislation we don't understand is that we are correcting legislation we didn't read. We keep hearing that we've got to do this because our constituents are demanding it--that they want to see these executives tarred and feathered. Now George Washington once said, "If to please the people, we do what we ourselves disprove how do we later defend our work? That's the position we are in today. 

This is a representative democracy. Our constituents may not understand that this is a bill of attainder, but we know that. We are the representatives of the people and we know that and it's our duty to uphold the Constitution. Now I don't like the fact that these executives got those bonuses. And we should find a way constitutionally to deal with this issue, but rushing to pass a bill we don't understand to--to correct a bill we didn't read is not the solution hear today. Let's reject this proposal."

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ):


MCCAIN: "Wouldn't it be nice if every American citizen that wanted to could go online and read the legislation and give us their ideas and thoughts as to how we could make it better?"

"The text should be online so every American, not just the hundred of us who were fortunate enough to be here but every American should have the right to know what a fundamental reform of healthcare in America  is all about."

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC):

GRAHAM: "Harry Reid negotiated with one member of the Senate to get the last vote, the 60th vote, in a room no one knew they were at. No one knew what they were talking about. They roll out the 400 page amendment. Not one Republican was able to amend that amendment. They announced a 2500 page bill without Republican input. That's not change." 

"They're talking about passing it this weekend but the way they're talking about passing it (via deeming and passing) makes me talk about fanatacism. The only way you can explain their behavior is that they lost their political minds. They're trying to jam through a bill that the American people don't want with this process that's bizarre, that no sober person can understand."

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL):

RUBIO: "If he has it all signed sealed and done (by March 18), number one they're going to pay a heavy price in November for doing it. And then number two, hopefully, we're going to elect enough people in November to the Congress and to the Senate so we can undue the horrible things that are gonna get done if this legislation passes.

 By the way, no one knows exactly it is that they're going to pass, because it's all being negotiated in secret and it's going to be rammed down the throat of the American people at the eleventh hour. Here's my experience. The less public scrutiny something receives in terms of public policy. the worse the idea usually is. That's why they're not allowing people to fully vet it."


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