The Spectacle Blog

The Senate’s Unconstitutional Immigration Bill

By on 6.5.06 | 2:15AM

I missed this on Friday, but it seems kind of important. Here's the deal: The Senate immigration bill has a provision that requires illegal immigrants to pay back-taxes before applying for citizenship. But Article I, Section 7 of the Constitution says that bills for raising revenue must originate in the House. Bill Frist has an easy fix for this: attach the immigration bill to a tax bill that started in the House, and send that to the conference committee. Harry Reid, however, won't agree to this, saying that the problem is no big deal -- "technical in nature" are his words. (Apparently, Reid meant his oath to uphold the Constitution to apply only to the general spirit of the document, not the actual specifics.) Refusing to allow the Frist fix almost guarantees that a member of the House will introduce and pass a blue-slip resolution to send the bill back to the Senate before it makes it into conference. Reid's goal seems to be to block any immigration bill from passing before November.

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