Sunday, May 26, 2013

Current State Of CIR Bill - Part 3

If you haven't read it, please see this article: How a bill becomes law.

Senate: CIR bill (S.744) was introduced by Senate "Gang of 8" on April 17, 2013. You can read the highlights of bill here. By May 7, over 300 amendments (changes) were filed by various Senators in Senate Judiciary Committee. The Committee began consideration of the legislation on May 9, 14, 16, 20 and 21. In these five days, 212 amendments were considered and voted upon. Out of these 212 amendments, 141 amendments were adopted. On evening of May 21, the Senate Judiciary Committee in a 13-5 vote decided to pass the CIR bill from the committee. So whats next?

Harry Reid (Senate Majority Leader) will introduce the CIR bill on the floor around June 10, 2013. There will be more amendments (changes) introduced by all members of Senate (around 100 amendments which were not considered in Senate Judiciary Committee may also be reintroduced gain). Recently Bob Menendez, who is a member of Gang of 8 and democrat, said that Senate does not even have 60 votes necessary to pass this bill. We will have to wait and see what amendments will be introduced in Senate next month and how long would it take to get the 60 votes necessary to pass the bill.

You can view the list of amendments here:

Key Issues:

a. How will border be effectively secured?
b. Healthcare for millions of undocumented (illegal) immigrants.
c. How insistent Congress should be that the administration create a nationwide electronic verification system to check workers’ legal status.
d. Conservative Republicans oppose giving any amnesty to undocumented immigrants.
e. Many Republicans fear that majority of these undocumented immigrants will continue to vote for Democratic party.
f. Some Republicans do not want to hand another major victory to President Obama (after Health Care Reform and Wall Street Reform).

House of Representatives: House has its own agenda about Comprehensive Immigration Reform. Speaker John Bohener said few days ago that he will NOT be taking up the Senate CIR bill. John Bohener is the majority leader of the House. If he has made the final decision to not take up Senate CIR bill, then passing CIR bill in Senate may not be of much use (when it reaches House). So whats next?

House has its own "Gang of 8" who are working on creating their own version of comprehensive immigration reform bill. There is no timeline on when this bill would be ready. John Boehner would rather go slow and do it "correctly" by having lots of debates and make sure Americans are not negatively impacted by the bill.

Also House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (Republican) declined to commit to finishing immigration legislation this year. Instead of  one comprehensive bill, he wants to pass each immigration bill  individually. He said that while he hopes to produce a bill this year, “I’m going to be very cautious about setting any kind of arbitrary limits on when this has to be done.”

Many in the conservative-led House don’t have the appetite for a single, big bill on immigration, especially not one that contains a path to citizenship, still viewed by some as amnesty.  But if the Senate’s comprehensive approach faces obstacles in the House, the House’s piecemeal approach won’t fly in the Senate.

House and Senate are both currently adjourned. They will return back to session on June 3, 2013. Some senators will try to use filibuster to prevent this bill from passing in Senate. They would need minimum 60 votes to overcome these filibuster(s).

For CIR bill to become law, it is important that it passes both houses before Congress goes into the summer recess. Senate will be in summer recess from August 5 to September 5. House will be in summer recess from August 3 to September 8. When Congress return after summer recess, the political landscape will likely change as they prepare for the 2014 elections. To win the primary in those 2014 elections, Republicans have recently shifted to far right and opposed any immigration reform.

If Congress fails to pass CIR bill, there are many individual bill introduced in Congress this year. These would then have a much higher chance of passing individually. Please see the link below:

Related Posts: Current State Of CIR - Part 2

You can continue to get Latest Immigration News (updated every 15 minutes) at:

1 comment:

  1. Piecemeal will never work in the Senate so there is no way smaller bills will pass in the Senate. If CIR does not happen by this summer it will never happen for the next 10 yrs. Pack your bags and go home!


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