The Hoeven-Corker routine

The role of prominent GOP senators in promoting the immigration fiasco is mystifying. It requires a cynicism beyond my poor powers of imagination to understand it. Equally mystifying to me is the misdirection so many have fallen for regarding the issue of border security.

Border security recedes permanently into the distance while amnesty stays in the foreground, but look at the other hand! The news is in the new levels of legal immigration the legislation authorizes (thank you, John Hinderaker), along the same (misbegotten) lines as the 1965 act through which Teddy Kennedy sought to transform the United States.

For their last act, the GOP reprobates facilitating this travesty are performing “the Hoeven-Corker amendment.” What do they have up their sleeve this time? Yuval Levin explains:

The Hoeven-Corker amendment to the Gang of Eight bill is essentially a new bill. It is almost 1,200 pages long. Some parts of it are identical to some of the provisions of the original Gang of Eight bill, some parts are very different, and some parts are slightly different in ways that could prove very important but difficult to understand in a hurry. But it has to be understood in a hurry. Given the length and complexity of this proposal, I think it is fair to say that not more than a handful of the senators voting on it on Monday—which is apparently when the vote is scheduled—will really understand it in any detail. There is almost no way any of the senators voting on it could have read it all, and it’s unlikely even their staff members could do so in a thorough and responsible way in that time. Only the people who wrote it will know what it says, and I imagine it was written in parts by numerous people from several Senate offices. That means there is probably no one who really knows what it says. It also seems likely that, if the amendment is adopted on Monday, the vote on the final bill would come too soon thereafter to allow CBO to re-score the much-amended bill, and so to offer some sense of how things have changed in terms of costs, economic effects, future immigration flows (legal and illegal) and other key issues.

Is this any way to make such an important set of decisions about the country’s future?

Levin leaves off with a rhetorical question. My question, slightly less rhetorical, is: What is going on here?

PAUL ADDS: The Hoeven-Corker routine represents another broken promise by Marco Rubio. He swore up and down that immigration reform would be considered the right way in the Senate. No more voting on a bill to find out what’s in it, plenty of time for debate, etc.

Until recently, it looked like this promise would be kept, more or less. Hearings on the legislation were minimal, but at least the legislation was out there for everyone to analyze and there was ample time for such analysis.

But that’s no longer the case. As Yuval Levin says in the quotation presented above by Scott, the backers of amnesty have essentially sprung a new bill at the last minute. Apparently, it will be voted on before anyone can perform a proper analysis.

The cynicism and dishonesty of Marco Rubio and company are staggering.

Responses