Senator Jeff Sessions has expressed concern that the Gang of Eights’s immigration legislation is being rushed and that other senators won’t have sufficient time to comment and propose changes. Said Sessions:
The gang has met privately for months, in close consultation with the special interests, to draft this legislation. Is the public not entitled to have at least as long to review it before their representatives are asked to vote on it?
Republican Senators asked for objective, serious public hearings exploring these complex issues – from the guest worker program, to border fencing, to law enforcement, to the administration’s abuse of prosecutorial discretion. Chairman Leahy, with his announcement, has reaffirmed his repudiation of that request for hearings.
Not to worry, says Marco Rubio, who once told Rush Limbaugh that the Gang’s proposal would be subject to normal Senate procedure (“I want this place to work the way it’s supposed to work”), including hearings and the opportunity for every Senator and the public to have input. He notes that even if Democrats and the Obama administration try to rush the bill through the Senate, “passing a bill out of the Senate does not [make it] a law.” The House could still produce its own legislation, and the differences could be ironed out in a conference committee.
Thanks, Marco. You drove a heck of a hard bargain by getting a one-day hearing in the Senate and preserving the House’s right to legislate.