Policy: Entitlements

Pro-amnesty Republicans cave on the welfare state

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Conn Carroll,Republican Party,Entitlements,Welfare,Amnesty

“You don’t screw up your policies to fit a stupid government program,” amnesty advocate Grover Norquist recently told National Review in reference to welfare spending on low-skill immigrants, “You reform the stupid government program.”

That is a nice thought … in theory. But in practice, the pro-amnesty Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee completely failed to force any welfare reform into the Schumer-Rubio bill that Norquist and his K-Street allies are pushing. Below are just three of the welfare sate amendments Democrats defeated:

  • Cruz 2: Would have made all unlawful immigrants ineligible for all federal, state, and local means tested benefits. This amendment was defeated 6-12.
  • Sessions 31: Would have limited the Earned Income Tax Credit to just citizens and legal permanent residents. This amendment would have denied the EITC to newly amnestied immigrants until they were granted their legal permanent resident status. This amendment was defeated 8-10.
  • Sessions 10: Would have made defined any immigrant who received Medicaid or food stamps as a “public charge.” Public charges are not eligible for legal permanent resident status, let alone citizenship, under U.S. law. This amendment was defeated by voice vote.

As much power as Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and the other members of the Gang of Eight have ceded to Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and President Obama, they are not completely powerless. Yesterday, Sen. Pat Leahy, D-Vt., introduced an amendment that would have granted same-sex marriages the same status as traditional marriages under U.S. immigration law. But after every Democrat was given an opportunity to speechify about how important gay marriage is, Leahy withdrew the amendment explaining that the Republican members of the Gang of Eight said they couldn’t vote for the bill if it gave protections to same-sex couples.

So the Republican members of the Gang of Eight can draw a line in the sand. But apparently, pro-amnesty Republicans care more about stopping gay marriage then stopping the expansion of the welfare state.

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