Hatch throws down the 'gauntlet,' tells Gang of Eight not to 'stiff' him on amendments

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The bipartisan group of eight senators, known as the Gang of Eight, introduced S. 744, which would create a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants already in the country, toughen border security, create a guest worker program and boost high-skilled immigration.

On Tuesday, the Senate voted 84-15 to proceed to debating the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act. The Senate will continue to work on the bill throughout June and several amendment votes will likely occur.

Hatch has four amendments that would ensure people on the pathway to citizenship aren’t granted federal welfare benefits, including ObamaCare. He also wants to strengthen language in the bill that calls for immigrants to pay back taxes.

“I think it’s critical that these amendments pass,” Hatch said. “I think there are a lot of people on this side of the aisle who would like to vote for the final vote here, but they’re going to need amendments like these.”

Hatch, who serves on the Senate Judiciary Committee, said he voted for the immigration bill to get out of committee last month partially because members of the Gang of Eight promised to work with him on his concerns when the bill reached the floor. He said he’s now had “indication” that won’t be the case.

“I don’t want to be stiffed at this time,” Hatch said. “And I’m not the kind of guy who taking stiffing lightly.”

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