PROVIDING FOR CONSIDERATION OF H.R. 4437, BORDER PROTECTION, ANTITERRORISM, AND ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION CONTROL ACT OF 2005 -- (House of Representatives - December 15, 2005)
BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT
Mr. THOMPSON of Mississippi. Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the gentleman from Florida (Mr. Hastings) yielding me time.
Mr. Speaker, this rule demonstrates that this legislation is simply not ready for consideration by the House. I have worked carefully with my Republican colleague on the Homeland Security Committee, Chairman KING, to develop a border security bill that has made many good provisions. This rule defeats that.
We could have given the House a Christmas present of a bipartisan bill that would secure our border in a real and fair way. Now this bill looks like a gift from an extremist Grinch, rather than one from Santa Claus. The Committee on the Judiciary has so loaded up our bill with controversial immigration proposals that now it is opposed by every reasonable business, immigration or human rights group in America. The Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform opposes this bill. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce opposes it. The American Bar Association opposes it. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops opposes it. What reasonable group, Mr. Speaker, does not oppose it?
Now the Republican leadership is grasping for straws as it tries to figure out what amendments can best fit the bill. We are now here debating a rule with only half the amendments to be allowed, but we have not even seen what the final version of the bill looks like. How can we be here debating amendments when we do not even know what we are amending? This feels like another Republican power grab.
Mr. Speaker, we need to go slow and think this thing through. Let us take the bill back to the drawing board and pass a real border security bill that is fair and effective, not a partisan bill that almost no reasonable organization supports. And now, as we are about to return to our districts, let us think about the people that this bill will hurt, what kind of Christmas they will have.
BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT