Late this afternoon, U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX addressed the Senate floor to contrast the border measures in the current Corker-Hoeven amendment to the border security amendment he filed last week.
Sen. Cruz spoke in opposition to efforts of both Democrats and Republicans to rush through the bill without giving Americans adequate time to understand what’s in the bill. Additionally, he cited six different areas where the Corker-Hoeven amendment fails to secure the border.“Fundamentally, this is about political cover. It’s not about solving the problem. It is an approach that says: I will gladly secure the border next Tuesday for legalization today,” Sen. Cruz concluded. “This amendment and the underlying Gang of Eight bill grants immediate legalization, and the border security changes will never be implemented, and the border will not be secured. That’s not a solution the American people can be proud of, and I urge this body to reject the amendment, to vote against cloture and reject the underlying bill.”
When Cruz decried the fact that the 1,200 page bill was laid on the Senators last Friday for a vote, today, Senator Schumer interrupted to make an argument many of us heard ad nauseam over the weekend.
“Does the gentleman deny that of thousand pages, about a hundred pages are new text - the rest is just the old text of the existing bill and every Senator over a weekend, should be able to read a hundred pages of important legislation?” Schumer asked.
Cruz answered, “as the Senator knows well, the amendments are interspersed through a very complicated bill, and analyzing where waivers have been given, what the intersection of new previsions with old previsions, is not a simple endeavor, and indeed in this particular body, it is not unbeknownst… to slide something into text, and my point is very simple – what is the rush?”
“Why are we proceeding gangbusters? And the only explanation that makes sense is there are many senators it seems in this 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.”
“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. 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. I introduced seven substantive amendments to improve this bill. Not a single one has been considered on the floor of the senate.”