Stockman: Senate Amnesty Bill Unconstitutional
WASHINGTON -- Congressman Steve Stockman Thursday sent a letter to House Speaker John Boehner requesting he immediately kill the Senate’s amnesty bill, S. 774 through a constitutionally-required “blue slip” resolution.
“Not only is the Senate amnesty bill an abuse of taxpayers and immigrants, it’s utterly unconstitutional. The Senate cannot invent its own amnesty taxes,” said Stockman. “I hope Speaker Boehner will immediately kill the amnesty bill through a constitutionally-required blue slip. As long as the amnesty bill sits in the House it poses a threat to taxpayers and immigrants.”
Several provisions of the Senate amnesty bill create new taxes, a violation of the “origination clause,” Article I, Section 7, Clause 1 of the United States Constitution, which states “All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments as on other Bills.”
A “blue slip” is a resolution that automatically returns to the Senate any bill that violates the origination clause of the United States Constitution.
Blue slip resolutions are immediately considered as a matter of constitutional privilege, are debatable for an hour and are not subject to amendment.
Section 2102 of the amnesty bill requires the payment of certain taxes and forgives the payment of other taxes as a condition of receiving amnesty and other benefits. The Constitution prohibits the Senate from approving bills that raise revenue.
Stockman also points to the Congressional Budget Office, which flatly states “enacting S. 744 would have a wide range of effects on federal revenues, including changes in collections of income and payroll taxes, certain visa fees that are classified as revenues, and various fines and penalties. Taken together, those effects would increase revenues by $459 billion over the 2014-2023 period.”
Stockman’s letter to Boehner follows.
June 27, 2013
Honorable John Boehner
Speaker of the House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20515
Dear Mr. Speaker,
When the House of Representatives receives S. 744, I hereby request that you raise a point of order that the legislation violates the origination clause of the United States Constitution; that “all Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives.”
Although there are other provisions in the bill which are in violation of the prerogatives of the House, the most obvious is section 2102 which requires the payment of certain taxes and forgives the payment of other taxes as a condition of receiving benefits under this legislation.
The Congressional Budget Office analysis of S. 744, dated June 18, 2013, on page 44 states in part that “enacting S. 744 would have a wide range of effects on federal revenues, including changes in collections of income and payroll taxes, certain visa fees that are classified as revenues, and various fines and penalties. Taken together, those effects would increase revenues by $459 billion over the 2014-2023 period, according to estimates by JCT and CBO.”
Therefore, I urge you to protect the origination clause and the intent of the Constitution by using the ‘blue slip’ to return S. 744 to the Senate.
I am grateful for your service to our nation in upholding the Constitution.
As I stated in January, I will not be supporting the Senate’s amnesty bill. I cannot and will not support any immigration reform proposal that institutes an amnesty program and does not begin with a comprehensive plan to secure the borders.
The Senate amnesty bill does not fix our nation’s broken immigration system. It rewards law breaking and encourages a new flood of illegals, perpetuating the very problems it claims to solve. Our nation’s failed experiments with amnesty have proven it only encourages more illegals willing to wait it out for their turn at free citizenship.
The Senate amnesty bill insults the many legal immigrants who have spent tremendous time and money seeking legal residence. The surge of illegals also strains relations with legal Hispanic citizens, many of who come from families who have been in the United States longer than most white residents.
The Senate amnesty bill does not crack down on human trafficking. Our failure to secure our border has led to horrific, tragic stories of innocents brutally smuggled into the United States to serve as slave labor, and thousands of young girls forced into prostitution. It is largely young Hispanic girls who suffer from this failure.
The Senate amnesty bill does not even address the tremendous burden illegals have placed on state and local governments. The crush of illegals have bankrupted local governments, shut down hospitals, overwhelmed schools and crashed local economies, hurting largely Hispanic citizens. That failure has fueled the growth of violent gangs, like MS-13, that prey upon illegals and target the children of Hispanic citizens.
The Senate amnesty bill is not a serious proposal to fix immigration. It ignores the issue of border control, insults legal immigrants and fails Hispanic citizens. It makes border states and communities even more dangerous for both immigrants and residents.
States like Texas, with large and growing Hispanic populations, have an obligation to offer our residents something better than the Senate’s flimsy proposal. We need an immigration system that allows for safe migration, safe communities and a healthy economy.
The Senate amnesty bill insults legal immigrants, threatens our security and does nothing to address the tragedy of human trafficking.
I will not support it and I will lead efforts to stop it from even being considered in the House.
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