Protest Backfires: Rep. Pete Olson Now Opposes Conference with Senate on Amnesty
Rep. Pete Olson (R-TX) publicly came out against a conference committee with the Senate’s “Gang of Eight” legislation at a town hall in his district. A video of the event was provided to Breitbart News by local Tea Party activists.
In early questioning on immigration, Olson described the Senate bill as “DOA,” short for “dead on arrival.” Ins final question on immigration, local Tea Partier Robert Gonzalez asked: “This is important because you said it’s DOA. Harry Reid ensured that if the bill goes to conference, he said we will get amnesty. The question is, are you for or against going to conference with the Senate bill, regardless of what the House passes?”
Olson came out strongly against a conference. “No,” he said. “The Senate bill is a terrible bill. If you open that door [going to conference], it’s a bad path to go down.”
Olson added that if the House passes “a border security bill and send it over to the Senate, they might hook all this stuff up in the bad bill and send it back to us.”
“So, we’re trying to figure that out, what’s the best step going forward?” Olson said, adding that he and fellow House Republicans “are very concerned about” whether or not anything that would come out of a conference committee with the Senate would be “force[d]” to the House floor for a vote regardless of the merits of any conference report.
As Breitbart News has reported, House GOP leadership may attempt to salvage the Senate’s “Gang of Eight” immigration bill via a conference committee. Through that process, the House would pass its own immigration bill or group of bills. It would then take that bill or group of piecemeal bills and negotiate with Senate Democratic leadership. The outcome of those talks would be a conference report, which would likely include elements of House and Senate passed language. Conservatives worry the conference report would closely resemble the Senate’s Gang of Eight bill more than anything else.
Interestingly, Olson’s decision to come out against the Senate bill and oppose a conference that people like Cantor and Ryan support, came in the wake of illegal aliens raiding one of his other town hall events over recess. That video shows a group of illegal aliens, many of whom were so called “DREAMers,” and had interrupted Olson during a town hall event and presentation before being escorted out by police for causing a disturbance. That incident seems to have backfired on the left: Olson is now more opposed to amnesty than he was before.
Olson acknowledged the incident during the event at which he came out further against amnesty.
“I got attacked yesterday by some of what they call the DREAMers about this issue,” Olson said. “I told them we cannot fix this problem until we control of borders. Pure and simple.”
Olson added some advice for constituents if they happen to see DREAMer illegal alien protesters. “If you see these people out there, just tell them the truth: in 1986 there were 3 million people here illegally. So, maybe, 100,000 DREAMers. That’s ballooned up. It was 15 million at its high point, it’s down to 11 million right now. It’s about 2 million DREAMers. That’s not progress. That’s regression. And it’s happened because we’ve not controlled the borders.”