House unlikely to pass Gang of 8 immigration bill

Arizona Congressman Matt Salmon, in March, called on Speaker of the House John Boehner to abide by the “Hastert rule,” which allows no bill to advance in the House without the support of a majority of House GOP members. This week Boehner affirmed that no legislation will come to the floor that does not have the support of the majority of his caucus.

Boehner said that his legislative body will not feel pressure to pass the Gang of 8’s plan. He said that they will develop legislation that has the support of the majority of Congress, and “reflects the will of the American people.”

On Thursday, Salmon told constituents upon passage of the Gang of 8’s plan in the Senate, “The House has been diligently working through a range of reforms that will solve our broken immigration system in a fair and efficient manner. I will continue to work with my colleagues in the House on legislation that first and foremost secures our border and does not provide amnesty. It is imperative that we pass good policy this time so we don’t repeat the mistakes of the past.”

Senator Ted Cruz confirmed that the Senate’s plan is “bad legislation” calling it “utterly and completely indefensible.” Cruz said that “in conjunction with Obamacare, the Gang of 8 bill creates a tax penalty on employers – effectively, up to $5,000 – for hiring U.S. citizens or legal immigrants. But that penalty does not apply to those with RPI status, giving a powerful incentive for job creators to hire illegal immigrants instead of U.S. citizens or legal immigrants. That is indefensible.

Cruz says he filed an amendment “to fix this defect, but was blocked by Senate Democrats from receiving a vote on that solution.”

Cruz, one of the most vocal critics of the legislation said, “Unfortunately, all of the concerns that have been repeatedly raised about this bill remain: it repeats the mistakes of the 1986 immigration bill; it grants amnesty first; it won’t secure the border; and it doesn’t fix our broken legal immigration system.

“This bill doesn’t solve the problem because the process it went through was fatally flawed– it was written behind closed doors with special interests; in the Judiciary Committee,” Cruz concluded, “the Gang of 8 and Democrats blocked all substantive amendments because of a previously cooked deal; and on the Senate floor, the majority blocked any attempts to fix the bill.”

In March, Salmon pointed to the pork-filled Hurricane Sandy and “fiscal cliff” legislation as examples of the need “to stop bad legislation from happening.” Salmon said that Congress “should be doing everything, using every tool in our toolbox, to stop bad legislation from happening.”

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