That’s the question posed by the Daily Caller. The answer, unfortunately, appears to be that Rubio did not tell the truth to Levin and his audience.
During his appearance on Levin’s program on April 17, Rubio referred four times to the creation of a commission led by border governors. This statement is typical of how he described the commission and its role:
If, in five years, the plan has not reached 100 percent awareness and 90 percent apprehension, the Department of Homeland Security. . .will lose control of the issue and it will be turned over to the border governors to finish the job. . .which is not a Washington commission, made up of congressmen or bureaucrats. It’s largely led by the border state governors, who have a vested local interest in ensuring that that border is secure. . .and there’s money set aside in the bill for them to do it.
But when Byron York read Rubio’s bill, he found that if the 100 percent and 90 percent goals are not met, the job of the commission is almost entirely advisory, i.e., to make “recommendations to the President, the Secretary, and Congress” on how to meet them. The bill provides that the commission shall write a report “setting forth specific recommendations,” send it to the Government Accounting Office, and then go out of business in 30 days.
Thus, Rubio was not telling the truth when he told Levin that the commission will take control of the issue and “finish the job.”
As for Rubio’s other assertions, it is true that the bill creates a $2 billion pot of money for the DHS to use to carry out the commission’s recommendations. But the Daily Caller notes that there’s nothing that compels the DHS to actually spend it on all of them, or any of them, let alone to actually achieve the “90 percent apprehension” goal.
Moreover, if the goal isn’t reached, the bill does not delay the issuance of green cards to the already-legalized former illegals. Rubio seemed to suggest otherwise to Levin.
Finally, the commission isn’t “largely led” by the governors” of border states. Only four of the 10 commission seats will be filled by such governors. The other six will be held by “Washington” appointments.
A Rubio spokesman took issue with part of the Daily Caller’s report. He referred to a Rubio press release that states:
if the Commission recommends 200 additional miles of fencing, the Secretary of Homeland Security will be compelled to implement the recommendation. He or she will not be able to divert resources to other projects. The Comptroller General will review the plan to ensure the Commission’s recommendations can be achieved with the available funds, and then DHS must use the $2 billion on exactly what the Commission says.
But there appears to be no such provision in the legislation. According to the Daily Caller, despite “repeated Twitter provacation,” Rubio’s spokesman did not point to a passage in the bill that says what he claims the bill says.