Tags: Dems | Try | Sneak | Immigration | Reform | Iraq | Bill

Dems Try to Sneak Immigration Reform in Iraq Bill

Thursday, 14 April 2005 12:00 AM

When word spread that such additions might be in the wind, Sens. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and John Cornyn, R-Texas, authored a non-binding resolution that no such measures be added. It passed 61-38. But almost immediately after that resolution passed, the immigration provisions began to be offered. More of the same is expected today.

Feinstein was particularly upset at the notion that AgJobs could be considered now.

"This is going to be a huge magnet" for illegal immigrants, Feinstein warned her colleagues during an impassioned floor speech. "Mark my words." That measure, she said, "could bring millions of people into this country - workers, their spouses, their minor children."

Feinstein said bills like AgJobs should go through the traditional committee hearing and debate process.

But Craig has been trying to get his measure onto the Senate floor for more than two years and saw the Iraq bill as his chance. Craig has long said if given a chance on the floor, his bill would pass.

The tussle over putting immigration on the spending bill began in the House. It dates back to late last year when House Judiciary Chairman Rep. James Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., acquiesced on his holding up the intelligence reform measure in exchange for a promise that his Real ID Act, which would effectively exclude illegal immigrants from getting driver's licenses, would be added to the first must-pass bill of the 109th Congress.

This Iraq bill is just such a vehicle. Real ID Act was added to the House version of the Iraq supplemental and will be a key point of contention in the upcoming conference committee on the measure.

Feinstein introduced another resolution Wednesday calling on the members of the conference committee not to accept the Real ID Act as part of the spending bill. That resolution is expected to be voted on by the Senate today. Again, Feinstein said such a measure should go through committee scrutiny before a floor vote.

The question still remaining is whether any these immigration provisions will make it onto the spending bill. Votes on them could come Thursday.

Cornyn, who chairs the immigration subcommittee, promised his panel would tackle immigration reform this year. But he implored colleagues not to allow an immigration debate to "bog down this emergency supplemental appropriations bill to equip our troops with what they need."

(c) 2005, The Orange County Register (KRT) via NewsCom

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When word spread that such additions might be in the wind, Sens. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and John Cornyn, R-Texas, authored a non-binding resolution that no such measures be added. It passed 61-38. But almost immediately after that resolution passed, the...
Dems,Try,Sneak,Immigration,Reform,Iraq,Bill
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2005-00-14
Thursday, 14 April 2005 12:00 AM
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