U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), a senior member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, issued the following statement today responding to Chairman Leahy's scheduling of the committee mark-up of the Gang of Eight immigration bill:
"The Gang of Eight immigration bill is an extraordinarily complex piece of legislation with profound and lasting consequences for our country. The legislation before us could represent the single largest expansion of our entitlement programs in modern history, provide an avenue for potentially tens of millions of new low-skilled workers to enter the United States, and have major implications for our national security.
Yet, rather than take the time to review and examine these issues, the Senate majority crammed 23 witnesses into a single hearing on Monday and has scheduled a mark-up of the legislation for tomorrow. While the minority has the right to delay the mark-up for a week, that the majority believes we can and should begin this Thursday--with no more hearings--is the final proof of their determination to rush through this legislation before the American people know what's in it. The current legislative timeline is unacceptable.
The Gang of Eight spent five months behind closed doors, meeting with special interests, to craft this proposal. Law enforcement, citizens, and their representatives have been shut out from the process while powerful business and activist groups signed off on backroom deals to extract the provisions they wanted to benefit themselves.
Something is truly broken in Washington when the special interests helping to write a bill have more time than the public and their representatives to review it before it comes to a vote."