Tag Archives: Amendment

Ted Cruz fought Rubio’s amnesty in 2013 and fought Obama’s executive amnesty in 2014

Ted Cruz and Mike Lee go to war against amnesty
Ted Cruz and Mike Lee go to war against amnesty

Let’s do the 2013 Rubio amnesty first.

The leftist Washington Post reports on how Cruz tried to stop the Rubio amnesty by introducing amendments that would undermine support for the bill, or weaken the bill if it did get passed.

Excerpt:

Cruz has been a staunch opponent of giving a pathway to citizenship for immigrants who entered the United States illegally. In 2013, Cruz introduced five amendments:

  • Cruz 1: To triple the number of Border Patrol agents and quadrupling the equipment along the border.
  • Cruz 2: To deny means-tested government benefits to those who entered illegally.
  • Cruz 3: To strip away the pathway to citizenship.
  • Cruz 4: To expand legal immigration, by increasing employment-based immigration from 140,000 to 1,012,500 per year.
  • Cruz 5: To raise the H-1B high-skilled worker cap from 65,000 visas to 325,000 per year.

Note that “legalizing” someone can mean just giving them a temporary work permit, so that they are in the country legally, but have no permanent right to stay, much less get citizenship. The thing is, it’s not even clear that Cruz would have voted for the bill with his amendments. His goal was to derail the bill by embedding things in it that the supporters did not want. Like the “no path to citizenship” that Rubio wanted. And this is exactly how Democrats saw his amendments.

Here’s what happened:

When pressed about his 2013 statements and the citizenship amendment after the GOP debate, Cruz said: “It’s called calling their bluff.”

And in a Dec. 16, 2015, interview with Bret Baier on Fox News: “You’ve been around Washington long enough. You know how to defeat bad legislation, which is what that amendment did, is it revealed the hypocrisy of Chuck Schumer [D-N.Y.] and the Senate Democrats and the establishment Republicans who were supporting them because they all voted against it.”

[…]Current and former Democratic Senate staffers familiar with the negotiations confirmed to The Fact Checker that Cruz’s bill was, indeed, viewed as a poison pill in 2013. Consider the impact some of his amendments would have had on the fragile agreements the coalition negotiated:

  • Tripling Border Patrol agents: The Senate ultimately approved an amendment to double the number of Border Patrol agents. But tripling the number would’ve gone too far and lost the support of some immigration groups, which believed an even bigger increase would be badly received by border communities and the public.
  • Expanding legal immigration: Such a dramatic increase in employment-based immigration and H-1B visas went far beyond the coalition’s negotiated cap at 65,000. As The Washington Post’s Paul Kane reported, Democrats, Republicans and their allies in the labor movement and corporate America worked for months to agree on this number, which was backed by the AFL-CIO and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. A slight increase or decrease would have jeopardized support from either the AFL-CIO or the Chamber of Commerce; Cruz’s proposal was a 400 percent increase from the negotiated cap.
  • Removing pathway to citizenship: This was the major negotiation point for the Gang of Eight, and would have killed the bill.

In reference to the citizenship amendment, then-Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.) said during the 2013 hearing: “My concern with this, I feel it would virtually gut the bill … and gut what has been a very careful balance by Republicans and Democrats and the sponsors of it.”

Sen. Charles E. Schumer, a Gang of Eight Democrat, echoed the concern at the hearing: “If we do not have a path to citizenship, there is no reform, many of us feel. That is a bottom line here.” The Gang of Eight Republicans on the Judiciary Committee sided with Democrats in rejecting this amendment.

In a statement to The Fact Checker, Schumer confirmed Cruz’s bill was viewed as a poison pill: “This was an attempt to kill the bill, and there was no doubt at the time that Senator Cruz knew it would do exactly that.”

This is what Marco Rubio is getting angry with Cruz about in the debates. Cruz introduced 5 amendments meant to destroy the agreement among supporters of the bill. And the bill died. Rubio actually voted against Cruz’s amendment that would have taken citizenship off the table. He also opposed poison pill amendments by amnesty opponents Mike Lee and Jeff Sessions.

Conservative Mark Levin recently interviewed Jeff Sessions about Ted Cruz’s role in the battle over amnesty, and you can read about it here on the Daily Wire.

The second amnesty battle

Rubio’s amnesty was defeated in 2013, but there was another amnesty to come in 2014. This time, from the pen of Barack Obama.

The Blaze reports:

On Saturday night, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) won a battle, but not the war, against President Barack Obama’s executive action on immigration.

Cruz led the fight to force a Senate vote on Obama’s immigration plans, as a condition of approving a massive, $1.1 trillion spending bill for 2015. He was able to make that vote happen by arguing that the spending bill violated the Constitution because it would fund Obama’s plan — a plan Cruz and other Republicans say is illegal because it rewrites immigration law without any input from Congress.

“Tonight is the first opportunity that Congress has to express its disapproval,” Cruz said late Saturday of Obama’s immigration plan.

Cruz lost the vote, as expected in a Senate that is still controlled by Democrats for a few more weeks. But Cruz’s tactics — which forced the Senate to work unexpectedly late into Saturday night — also drew criticism from Republicans, and several GOP senators vote against Cruz.

In the final vote, the Senate decided 22-74 against Cruz — less than half of the Senate’s 45 Republicans voted with Cruz.

[…]Cruz raised his constitutional argument against the bill on Friday night, a move that surprised both Republicans and Democrats and forced the Senate back into the office for a rare Saturday session. After several hours of negotiating, Democrats finally agreed to give Cruz his vote.

The vote itself was a victory — many Republicans have been begging for either the House or Senate to go on the record about Obama’s unilateral immigration decision.

This is why Cruz has few friends in the Senate. It’s not because he is a mean person, it’s because he fights hard for what is right. And few stand with him.

Cruz keeps telling the truth, and people keep calling him a liar for citing their actual words and actions:

It’s important to understand that on Washington, most of the politicians in both parties want amnesty. And that’s why they hate Cruz so much. It’s not his personality, it’s his conservatism.

Study finds that gay parents are more likely to raise gay kids

A peer-reviewed study about gay parents raising gay kids in AOL News.

Excerpt:

Walter Schumm knows what he’s about to do is unpopular: publish a study arguing that gay parents are more likely to raise gay children than straight parents. But the Kansas State University family studies professor has a detailed analysis that past almost aggressively ideological researchers never had.

[…]His study on sexual orientation, out next month, says that gay and lesbian parents are far more likely to have children who become gay. “I’m trying to prove that it’s not 100 percent genetic,” Schumm tells AOL News.

His study is a meta-analysis of existing work. First, Schumm extrapolated data from 10 books on gay parenting… [and] skewed his data so that only self-identified gay and lesbian children would be labeled as such.

This is important because sometimes Schumm would come across a passage of children of gay parents who said they were “adamant about not declaring their sexual orientation at all.” These people would be labeled straight, even though the passage’s implication was that they were gay.

Schumm concluded that children of lesbian parents identified themselves as gay 31 percent of the time; children of gay men had gay children 19 percent of the time, and children of a lesbian mother and gay father had at least one gay child 25 percent of the time.

Furthermore, when the study restricted the results so that they included only children in their 20s — presumably after they’d been able to work out any adolescent confusion or experimentation — 58 percent of the children of lesbians called themselves gay, and 33 percent of the children of gay men called themselves gay. (About 5 to 10 percent of the children of straight parents call themselves gay, Schumm says.)

Schumm next went macro, poring over an anthropological study of various cultures’ acceptance of homosexuality. He found that when communities welcome gays and lesbians, “89 percent feature higher rates of homosexual behavior.”

Finally, Schumm looked at the existing academic studies… In all there are 26 such studies. Schumm ran the numbers from them and concluded that, surprisingly, 20 percent of the kids of gay parents were gay themselves. When children only 17 or older were included in the analysis, 28 percent were gay.

Here’s the paper entitled “Children of homosexuals more apt to be homosexuals?“. It appeared in the Journal of Biosocial Science.

Abstract:

Ten narrative studies involving family histories of 262 children of gay fathers and lesbian mothers were evaluated statistically in response to Morrison’s (2007) concerns about Cameron’s (2006) research that had involved three narrative studies. Despite numerous attempts to bias the results in favour of the null hypothesis and allowing for up to 20 (of 63, 32%) coding errors, Cameron’s (2006) hypothesis that gay and lesbian parents would be more likely to have gay, lesbian, bisexual or unsure (of sexual orientation) sons and daughters was confirmed. Percentages of children of gay and lesbian parents who adopted non-heterosexual identities ranged between 16% and 57%, with odds ratios of 1.7 to 12.1, depending on the mix of child and parent genders. Daughters of lesbian mothers were most likely (33% to 57%; odds ratios from 4.5 to 12.1) to report non-heterosexual identities. Data from ethnographic sources and from previous studies on gay and lesbian parenting were re-examined and found to support the hypothesis that social and parental influences may influence the expression of non-heterosexual identities and/or behaviour. Thus, evidence is presented from three different sources, contrary to most previous scientific opinion, even most previous scientific consensus, that suggests intergenerational transfer of sexual orientation can occur at statistically significant and substantial rates, especially for female parents or female children. In some analyses for sons, intergenerational transfer was not significant. Further research is needed with respect to pathways by which intergenerational transfer of sexual orientation may occur. The results confirm an evolving tendency among scholars to cite the possibility of some degree of intergenerational crossover of sexual orientation.

Please exercise caution when commenting, we do not want to be Brendan Eich’d by the Obama administration.

Senator David Vitter’s amendment to revoke Obamacare exemption for Congress

Republican Senator David Vitter is trying to revoke the exemption from Obamacare for members of Congress and their staff.

The Heritage Foundation explains what the Vitter amendment would do.

Excerpt:

President Obama, the White House staff, Cabinet secretaries, and all of the Administration’s political appointees are exempt from any legal requirement to enroll in Obamacare’s health insurance exchanges. While Members of Congress and their personal staffs are required to enroll in Obamacare’s exchanges, the White House, through questionable administrative action, is providing them hefty taxpayer subsidies to offset the resultant increase in their personal health care costs. In other words, Washington’s arrogant political class is getting exemptions or special treatment denied to ordinary Americans.

[…]During Senate floor debate on energy legislation last week, Louisiana Senator David Vitter (R) proposed an amendment that would end Obamacare exemptions and special taxpayer subsidies for Congress. His amendment is cosponsored by Senators Mike Enzi (R-WY), Mike Lee (R-UT), Ron Johnson (R- WI), Dean Heller (R-NV), and Jim Inhofe (R-OK). The prospect of having to vote on Vitter’s amendment shut down floor debate on the bill last week.

Vitter’s amendment would do two things. First, the President, Vice President, Cabinet secretaries, and all political appointees—the policymaking agents of the executive branch—would be enrolled in the health insurance exchanges, just like millions of other Americans. Second, Members of Congress and their staffs—including all committee and leadership office staff—would also be enrolled in the health insurance exchanges under the same terms and conditions as other Americans. In other words, Congress and its staff would not get any special subsidies at taxpayer expense for their health insurance.

[…]The Vitter Amendment is equitable. It targets only Washington’s political class, those who make policy for the national government. Federal employees, all career civil servants, would not be deprived of their current private health insurance plans through the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP). Vitter’s approach is only fair: Capitol Hill cops, National Park Rangers, and Secret Service agents and their families are not responsible for Obamacare. Washington’s political class and allied big special interest lobbyists are responsible. And until this bad law is fully repealed, the President’s team and Congress should submit fully to its multiple and costly requirements, just like everybody else.

[…]Because of hasty legislative maneuvering, sloppy drafting, and an inability or unwillingness to focus on the consequences of what they were doing, Members of Congress who voted for Obamacare managed to dump themselves out of their existing coverage. Under Section 1312 of the law, they are to be enrolled in health insurance exchange plans, and will lose existing coverage in the popular and successful Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP). And just like millions of other Americans dumped out of their existing coverage, they lose their employer’s subsidy for insurance plus the generous federal and state tax breaks that accompany employer-based coverage. But the Obama Administration recently “fixed” that for them by providing special subsidies for Members and congressional staff to reduce their premium costs in the Obamacare exchanges.

Vitter’s amendment would overturn this recent action. That would be appropriate because there is no statutory authority, either in Obamacare or in Title V of the U.S Code, for the U.S. Office of Personnel Management to make government insurance contributions on behalf of federal employees to any plan other than an FEHBP plan. Curiously, the original health care law provided for employers to make a defined contribution for workers in the exchanges (a “free choice voucher”), but Congress scrapped it.

Millions of Americans are going to be losing their existing coverage and paying more for health insurance. Under the Vitter Amendment, so would the Obama Administration’s appointees, Congress, and congressional staff. They baked that cake. Now they can eat it, too.

If you don’t like what Obamacare is doing to your health care, only a few people in the Republican Party are trying to help you. David Vitter is one of them. Ted Cruz and Mike Lee are two others. But don’t expect the Democrat legislators to lift a finger to help, because this law doesn’t apply to them. It doesn’t apply to many of their union supporters, who also got exemptions. It doesn’t apply to big corporations who support the Democrats – they got exemptions, too.