Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The Gang of 8's Shamnesty Porkapalooza

At IBD, "Gang of 8 Immigration Reform Bill Turns Into Pork-Fest":
The Senate's Democratic leadership and bipartisan Gang of Eight were in such a hurry to stop debate on their 1,200-page immigration bill that they didn't want anyone to read it. It's the latest in a long line of political travesties that threaten the future of our 237-year-old republic.

Sadly, those who pass our laws can't be bothered even to read them these days.

But if they did, they might be shocked to discover that the "Immigration Reform Bill," after the Corker-Hoeven amendment, has turned into a giant pinata stuffed with all kinds of hidden pork and goodies to make it easier for senators to choke down.

"When you pass complicated legislation and no one has really read the bill," Washington Post journalist Bob Woodward noted on Fox News Sunday, "the outcome is absurd."

He's right. Just like the bloated, pork-filled ObamaCare bill before it, immigration reform has lots of juicy tidbits in it to buy the votes of key legislators.

And, also like ObamaCare, legislators and average citizens alike will have to "pass the bill to find out what's in it," in former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's now-infamous phrase.

Among other things, the bill:

• Adds $1.5 billion to President Obama's failed jobs stimulus, a gift to socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont.

• Turns the Travel Promotion Act, which was supposed to end in 2015, into a permanent program at a cost of hundreds of millions of dollars. Prime beneficiaries? Las Vegas casino interests, a gift to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada.

• Makes a range of serious crimes for which U.S. citizens can be arrested and imprisoned — including assault and battery, drunk driving and tax fraud — "waivable" for illegal immigrants when it comes to their amnesty status.

• Gives Alaskan "Seafood processing" jobs special status as "shortage occupations," letting those industries hire low-skilled illegal immigrants to fill "temporary" jobs, a bipartisan favor to Alaska Sens. Mark Begich (Democrat) and Lisa Murkowski (Republican).

That, no doubt, isn't a comprehensive list. But since no one has read the bill — the latest version of immigration reform was issued less than 75 hours before Monday's vote — it's impossible even to say how much pork is in the bill the Senate is voting on.

But even if you took out all the pork, the bill should be rejected.