Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama charged on Tuesday that Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Patrick Leahy’s determination to move quickly on comprehensive immigration reform “is tantamount to an admission that the bill is not workable and will not stand up to public scrutiny.”
“Now that the special interests have what they want, the deal has been made: force it through and set the public interest aside,” said Sessions, who is a senior GOP member of the Judiciary Committee. “A sound committee process will take months and will require extensive hearings to understand every major component of reform, including how the immediate legalization of millions of illegal workers will impact unemployed Americans.”
Leahy, a Vermont Democrat, reiterated his intention to move swiftly on the immigration issue in a letter on Tuesday to Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, one of the bipartisan Group of Eight senators that began working on an immigration reform plan in January.
Rubio had written Leahy two days earlier, saying that it was important to avoid “excessive haste” in passing such broad-based legislation.
But Leahy responded on Tuesday: “I am hopeful you recognize, as I do, that if we do not act quickly and decisively we will lose the opportunity we now have to fix our immigration system. Those who have been committed to this effort for decades are counting on us and expect the Senate to act thoughtfully and without further delay.”
In his attack on the Vermont Democrat’s response, Sessions referenced Obamacare and charged that Leahy, President Barack Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada “once again want Congress to pass a far-reaching bill before the American people know what’s in it.”
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