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Monday, September 23, 2013

Exclusive--Sessions, Lee: House Leaders Must Shut Back Door to Comprehensive Immigration Bill -- By Sen. Jeff Sessions and Sen. Mike Lee, Breitbart

The Gang of Eight immigration bill is a 1,200-page legislative monstrosity. Senators had roughly 72 hours to read the final version of this massive and complex bill before the votes began. Like with Obamacare, the Senate was supposed to pass the bill in order to find out what was in it.

But while lawmakers and the public were left in the dark, the White House strategists and special interest allies who crafted the bill knew exactly what it contained: immediate amnesty, weakened enforcement, and unending illegal immigration.

The House has said that it will not take up the Senate bill. Rather, it will consider immigration reform in a “step-by-step” process, one bill at a time. We share the belief that the way to address immigration policy changes is through step-by-step legislation, with individual reform measures first implemented and then verified in the proper sequence.

We are concerned, however, that the House will pass individual, incremental bills only to have them cobbled together in a backroom deal with Majority Leader Reid and the Gang of Eight. Through a series of procedural maneuvers, House leaders could agree to begin negotiations with the Senate, known as a conference, using one of these smaller, targeted bills, while the Senate could bring the Gang of Eight bill to the negotiations.

This scenario would open the back door for congressional leaders to create a new amnesty-first, enforcement-later “comprehensive” immigration bill. Once the conference approves the new bill and sends it back to each chamber, amendments are prohibited and only an up-or-down vote is allowed.

Another danger is that, after the House passes several smaller bills, congressional leaders could handpick negotiators to meet in secret and develop a “compromise” plan to “fix” the Senate bill and bring the new—even larger—comprehensive proposal to a vote in both chambers.

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