Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) took to the Senate floor early Monday evening to argue the U.S. Senate should not be voting on the new immigration bill before members and the public have a chance to read it.
“We’re about to vote to end debate, a debate that never really began on an amendment that is 1,200 pages that was filed on Friday afternoon after many senators had left town, and we are now voting at 5:30 on Monday as many senators are stepping off the airplane,” he explained.
“This is the 1,200 page amendment. We have seen this play before. It is reminiscent of Obamacare, yet another bill that we were told we’ve got to pass it to find out what’s in it,” Cruz said. “And unfortunately it seems there are some Republicans eager to go along with the Democrats in the mad rush to pass this bill.”
“In the 2007 immigration debate, close to 50 amendments were considered. In this debate, only nine have been debated,” he declared. “I introduced seven substantive amendments to improve this bill. Not a single one has been considered on the floor of the Senate.”
In the middle of Cruz’s remarks, “Gang of Eight” member Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) treid in to challenge Cruz’s criticism of the rush to pass the more than a thousand pages long piece of legislation. “Does the gentleman deny out of those thousand pages, about a hundred are new, and every senator over a weekend should be able to read a hundred pages of important legislation?” Schumer asked Cruz.
Cruz fired back, explaining, “As my friend from New York knows well, the amendments are interspersed through a very complicated bill, and analyzing where waivers have been given, what the intersection is of new provisions with old provisions is not a simple endeavor and indeed in this particular body, it is not unbeknownst to this body to slide something in text.”
“My point is very simple: What is the rush?” he continued. “And the only explanation that makes sense is that there are many senators it seems in the body, perhaps on both sides of the aisle, that very much want a fig leaf.”
“They want something that they can claim, ‘We are supporting border security,’ when in fact this bill does not,” Cruz explained. “I would suggest, if you contrast this amendment to the amendment I introduced, you can see the difference between a bill that actually would protect border security versus something that is merely meant to tell gullible constituents that we’ve done something.”