Politics

Criminals Should Not Benefit From Immigration Reform

I commend my colleagues in the Senate, especially Senators Cornyn, Kyl, Graham, Durbin and McCain, for demonstrating their strong and genuine commitment to moving comprehensive reform forward. This measure, which will limit permanent residency status for those who have been convicted of a felony or three misdemeanors, will treat individuals fairly by welcoming those who should be welcomed and excluding those who should be excluded. This morning’s unanimous vote was another major leap forward in our fight for tough but fair reform.

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Do Not Hurt American Workers with Guest Worker Program

We need to recognize that guest worker programs, if not properly implemented, may hurt American workers. We also need to recognize that our success with regard to the temporary guest worker programs we now have, such as with regard to agricultural workers, has been mixed at best. We should not err on the side of extravagance in allocating these visas until we know how the program impacts American workers.There are a variety of jobs that may be filled by guest workers, from construction to hotel service, and we shouldn’t be placing American workers in these sectors in the position of competing with an unlimited number of guest workers.

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Bush's Immigration Policy Possible Deja Vu of Iraq

If nothing else, the President's speech was good political theater. I am more than a little concerned that this was a quickly orchestrated plan thrown together solely to provide political cover. It had better not be a repetition of the Administration's post-conflict Iraq plan. Both situations are much too dangerous and serious to be planned with such little foresight.

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Penalty for Part D Enrollees Should Be Eliminated

The Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit is a huge cost-saver for our seniors and I do not want people who listened to political criticism of the program to be penalized. I will join Nancy Johnson in the effort to allow Seniors to enroll penalty-free in the next enrollment period.

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Protect The Rights of Artists in The Digital Age

The music industry has evolved from simple business models focused around the distribution of physical items such as compact discs to a dynamic digital marketplace where new business models evolve rapidly. The laws that set out the framework for the digital licensing of musical rights in this industry are outdated, and some say beyond repair. Digital music is the future of the music industry; the laws that enable this industry to operate need to look to the future as well.

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D.C. Voting Rights-A Morally and Politically Worthy Cause

How often in politics do moral clarity and political considerations peacefully co-exist?  Legislation to be considered this week by my Government Reform Committee does exactly that.  The legislation corrects an historic wrong by finally granting the citizens of the Nation's Capital a voting voice in Congress.  By expanding the membership of the House to 437, the legislation creates room to give the District of Columbia a voting seat in the U.S. House -- and balances that out with an additional seat for the state next in line for representation (which happens to be Utah). 

That political balance -- Democratic D.C. and Republican Utah -- is key, and consistent with the balance (slave states and free state; Alaska and Hawaii) used throughout our history.  The legislation is also consistent with Congress's plenary power over D.C., as described in legal analyses done for our Committee by Ken Starr, Viet Dinh, and others.
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Consumers Deserve To Pay True Cost for Gas

On May 3, the House passed the Federal Energy Price Protection Act of 2006, [HR:5253], a bill giving the Federal Trade Commission the authority to prosecute instances of price gouging in the market for gasoline, diesel fuel, crude oil, home heating oil and biofuels. The bill passed 389-34, with my support. I am well aware of the pain that my constituents are experiencing at the pump and they deserve to know that the price they pay for gasoline reflects its true cost.

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Immigration Reform Needs Security and Not Amnesty

Last night, President Bush addressed the nation to discuss the important issue of border security and illegal immigration. The President's comprehensive approach to reforming our immigration system meets America's border and interior security needs while providing a rational, non-amnesty temporary worker program. I have seen the imminent problems on our border and it is obvious that the current situation is not sustainable. Our immigration system is broken and it is desperately in need of an overhaul. The National Guard will provide a supportive, temporary, non-law enforcement role in securing the border and then it will be up to us in Congress to develop a long-term solution.

I am hopeful that this deployment will soften opposition from 'enforcement only' advocates in Congress and encourage them to work toward a comprehensive solution. As the Senate resumes debate on immigration legislation, I encourage them to include a non-amnesty temporary worker program that is citizenship neutral. Meaningful immigration reform must consist of much more than just added boots on the ground, taller fences and improved technology. It will require changing how people can enter the country legally. President Bush has stood firm in his belief that we must enforce the rule of law in this country and do so in a manner that is compassionate and respectful of human dignity. A solution can be reached, but we must set aside our prejudices, biases and fears in order to do so.

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Bush Border Approach-Step Forward, Step Back

Illegal immigration threatens our national security and strains our healthcare facilities, schools and social services. President Bush made one step forward and one step backward during tonight's address. I am encouraged by his plan to increase our security by positioning National Guard troops on the border. This will provide essential - but temporary - security along our porous and vulnerable borders. The better alternative is to enact a comprehensive border security program to our immigration policies by constructing fences, bolstering our border patrols and escalating our surveillance capabilities.

I strongly disagree with the President's call for a guest worker program. A guest worker program is nothing more than amnesty wearing make-up - it's easier to look at, but just as ugly underneath. The simple truth is that if you break the law to come to this country, you will not respect it once you're here.  

 
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We Need to Reform Credit Card Industry

Credit cards are good things.  They have helped people pay for items they want and need, and that is good for the economy.  But some warning signs signal a need for some changes. That is why I have introduced legislation that takes some simple, common-sense steps to stop abusive practices by credit card companies, educate cardholders, and stiffen the penalties for violations.  I think it deserves to be enacted.
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