Thursday, April 06, 2006

Two major votes in Congress today (527 reform, Guest Workers plan), also a budget update

Today, there were two major votes in Congress. One was in the House, and one was in the Senate.

In the House, 527's were much more heavily restricted. The democrats (with seven exceptions like Marty Meehan who are the diehard campaign finance reformers) all voted against regulating 527, which were effective for them in 2004. The McCain/Feingold bill had a loophole that allowed rich leftists like anti-freedom advocate George Soros to dump $15 million in a thinly disguised campaign donation for John Kerry. Since the republicans were hurt by this, the democrats opposed this. Since the democrats supported McCain/Feingold, this showed their extreme hypocracy. Unfortunately, most republicans let their anger at Soros get the best of them. It's no secret that Soros was the main target here.

Even though this hits Soros, I'm going to be consistant and as such, oppose this bill. 527s were not the problem. Inane government regulations are the problem, and this was a symptom. Lawyers, campaign treasurers, and campaigners are all going to look for loopholes and will eventually find them. The ones I respect here are people like Mike Pence who are consistently against new government regulations over campaign finance matters. Mike Pence and John Shadegg said it best:

Pence - “Some in Washington want to rein in 527’s with greater government control and regulation, and that is certainly their right and a path that is consistent with the letter and spirit of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act,” Pence said after the vote. “However, I believe instead of greater government control of political speech, more freedom is the answer and that is why I could not support this bill.”

Shadegg - "Once again, Congress has decided to protect itself by subverting the American people's right to free expression. The Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 was wrong, and this bill is wrong. I know that a handful of wealthy liberals are taking advantage of the current law, but more regulation is not the answer. This bill is a wrong-headed, short-term response that will only drive political spending further into the shadows. We need sunshine and openness for groups involved in the political process -- not new bureaucratic rules that infringe on our First Amendment rights."

Over in the Senate, a compromise Guest Workers bill passed. It was a partial amnesty plan.

Under the accord, as many as 8 million undocumented workers who can prove they have been in the country for five years or more would be granted work visas, after they pay a $2,000 penalty and any back taxes and undergo a criminal background check. After five years, they could apply for citizenship, provided they remain employed, learn English and do not commit crimes.

About 2.8 million illegal immigrants who have been in the country for more than two years and less than five would have three years to return to a land port of entry, such as El Paso, Texas, cross the border and apply for one of 450,000 green cards - IDs for permanent residents who do not have U.S. citizenship - that will be available each year. Kennedy said the whole process could take less than a day, and the immigrants could then return to their U.S. homes. But Republican aides warned that there would be no guarantees and that some of those immigrants could be stuck across the border.

Of the 450,000 green cards that would be available every year, as many as 300,000 would go to low-skilled workers, Senate aides say. With a green card, those workers also would be eligible to apply for citizenship but would not have a guaranteed path to becoming Americans.

Illegal immigrants who have been in the country for two years or less would have to return to their home countries.

In addition, foreign workers seeking access to the U.S. labor market would be eligible for 325,000 new guest worker visas annually.

I'll take this bill over nothing, but I do not support this. That's not good enough. I only support a guest workers bill where ILLEGAL immigrants must return to their home country before applying for citizenship. We can not reward illegal immigration, and we need to stop the political correctness that goes along with this debate. I don't care if the illegals are from Canada, Mexico, Central/South America, Africa, Britain, or even my ancestors' Ireland. Illegal is illegal, and until we get tough on this issue and most of all those who hire illegals - it will continue to be a problem.

Lastly, the House of Representatives is at a budget standoff. If it's not a balanced budget, I can't support it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Are you trying to honestly convince people that this bill was aimed at George Soros? I think you forgot abut Richard Mellon Scaife and what the 527 he funded did to every veteran who ever earned a medal or award in the military.
You keep harping on “rich liberals” when you neglect to mention republican have access to much more money because the oil industry, the pharmaceutical and other big business have the republicans in their pocket.