If the Senate bill fails, it will be in part because of the work on Congressman John Shadegg. (Who has an excellent piece on National Review Online today.)
Many pundits and hill staff have speculated that the vote by the House Republican Conference disapproving of the Senate bill will have an impact on the cloture vote in the Senate. After seeing so much opposition among House Republicans, some Senators are realizing that a yes vote may have serious consequences.
There is more information coming from the Hill about the inside story on the Conference Resolution passed Tuesday night. It turns out that it was Congressman Shadegg’s idea and he had circulated resolution text two weeks ago. According to Conference rules, for a resolution to be brought before the conference, it must have 25 signatures. According to insiders, Shadegg collected the 25 signatures in one afternoon and when he went to leadership they decided to get out in front of the mob and call it a parade.
As is typical, the leadership resolution isn’t as good as what Shadegg originally circulated for signature. And, leadership officially gave the revised resolution to Rep. Peter Hoekstra to carry in the conference. You can bet Republican Whip Roy Blunt didn’t want to give Shadegg any credit. Here is the text of the original resolution:
Republican Conference Resolution
on the Senate’s Immigration Legislation
June __, 2007Whereas the Founders intended Congress to be a deliberative body;
Whereas the Founders intended Congress to be a deliberative body;Whereas the U.S. House of Representatives is constitutionally the House closest to the people;
Whereas Members of the Republican Conference represent diverse constituencies and hold many different concerns and viewpoints about immigration reform;
Whereas the problem of illegal immigration has been developing for decades, and the two previous legislative initiatives promised border security and no future amnesty, but failed to deliver what was promised;
Whereas the Senate immigration bill has been drafted and negotiated without a public hearing process;
Whereas the Senate forced a “take it or leave it” immigration bill of more than 300 pages in an expedited fashion;
Whereas this legislation contains items that cannot be implemented for years, including border enforcement, secure identification, overstay plans, employer enforcement and certainly includes inadequate funding to implement the procedures, while at the same time offering immediate legal status for at least 12 million illegal aliens
Whereas the lack of realistic, funded, border and enforcement strategies combined with past immigration law failures – especially when combined with the lack of hearings, unwillingness to compromise, and forced speed with which the Senate bill was considered – has resulted in a general perception in America that Congress has ignored the public will; and
Whereas the Senate immigration bill is deeply flawed in a number of ways including:
(1) allowing illegal aliens to obtain probationary benefits of the so-called Z-visa the business day following their application for such benefits even if their background check is not complete;
(2) not allowing employers to use the Employment Eligibility Verification System to verify the work eligibility of a prospective employee until after hiring the employee and, if the employee is deemed not eligible, the employer cannot fire the employee if the employee pursues an appeal process;
(3) allowing illegal aliens who have repeatedly violated U.S. law and engaged in identity fraud to gain legal status;
(4) treating illegal aliens significantly more favorably and with much greater benefits than guest workers.
Now, therefore, be it
Resolved, that the House Republican Conference –
(1) opposes the Senate immigration bill in its present form;
(2) will continue to oppose the legislation until, at a minimum, there has been a full and open process of subcommittee and full committee hearings and mark-ups in the House, and the legislation comes to the House floor for a full, open and deliberate debate to address the flaws in the current bill.
Shadegg working against the Senate immigration bill that Kyl negotiated is probably one of the most significant splits between the two in the last 15 years. People say they have a good relationship, but I have to believe the strain is on right now.