Vitter: Immigration reform bill is 'busting the budget cap'

Vitter said the bill’s authors, the Gang of Eight, categorized the spending in the bill as “emergency funding” but he added that border security is not the same thing as an “unpredicted storm.”

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“This is a problem for sure, but we have annual spending bills and a whole department of government [the Department of Homeland Security] that is part of this, that is suppose to deal with this problem,” Vitter said. “This is just busting the budget cap by another name.”

Vitter said he would offer his budget point of order against the bill when the Senate returns next week.

The Senate is considering the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act and amendment work on the bill is expected to continue throughout June.

The bipartisan group of eight senators 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.

Some Republicans have complained that the legislation would provide amnesty in 13 years for the nearly 11 million people in the U.S. illegally before strengthening border enforcement. 

Those supporting the bill say it doesn’t include amnesty since illegal immigrants would be forced to undergo a background check, pay a fine and back taxes, learn English, and wait in line for a green card. The bill also appropriates an additional $6.5 billion for border enforcement measures.

Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), John McCain (R-Ariz.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Jeff Flake (R- Ariz.), Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) and Michael Bennet (D-Co.) comprise the Gang of Eight.