Morning Action: One Thing That Would Encourage More Illegal Immigration
AMNESTY. The Heritage Foundation writes about the latest attempt by some members of Congress to foist amnesty on the American people:
Here’s a disturbing new idea from some members of Congress: Trade instant citizenship to illegal immigrants if they’ll agree to serve in the U.S. military.
Serving in the military is a high calling and a privilege—certainly not something to be treated as a bargaining chip in immigration politics. Yet these congressmen are trying to sneak this provision into the larger National Defense Authorization Act, which lays out the budget for the Department of Defense.
What’s more, the immigrants in question would be those who are brought to the U.S. as children—often called DREAMers (after the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act).
“Allowing unlawful immigrants to join the military in exchange for citizenship is a radical and perverse incentive that would encourage more illegal immigration of children,” write Heritage experts David Inserra and Cully Stimson.
APPROPRIATIONS. Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS) 32% is reportedly trying to take over as chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee (sub. req’d):
The senior-most Republican on the Senate Appropriations Committee is interested in reclaiming the panel’s top spot if the GOP wins control of the chamber in November, a move that would likely demote the current vice chairman.
An aide to Thad Cochran said the six-term Mississippi Republican is interested in once again chairing the Senate Appropriations Committee — assuming he survives a stiff primary challenge in June. The low-key Cochran led the spending panel, which helps control more than $1 trillion in annual discretionary spending, for two years until Democrats took control of the Senate in 2006.
Cochran is eligible to chair Appropriations for four more years under the GOP’s own rules, and since the chamber’s Republicans typically defer to seniority when selecting committee chairmanships, Cochran would likely have party leadership behind him if he chooses to stake his claim atop the spending panel.
FLOOD INSURANCE. Flood insurance rates are falling in Tampa Bay, Florida:
Here’s something that might shock many Tampa Bay homeowners:
Flood insurance rates are falling.
Lloyd’s of London and other private insurers have muscled into the market, picking up customers stunned by rate hikes under the National Flood Insurance Program.
The decreases can be dramatic:
• For $146,000 of coverage on a house in St. Petersburg, the federal program quoted a renewal rate of $6,685. The Lloyd’s rate: $1,367.
KEYSTONE. Lawmakers are abuzz with opinions over President Obama’s latest Keystone pipeline delay (sub. req’d):
The Obama administration’s announcement Friday afternoon of another delay for the Keystone XL pipeline jolted the capital out of a quiet holiday weekend, with Republicans and red-state Democrats condemning the move. We’ll watch this week to see what else lawmakers have to say about the matter and how they plan to address it.
The announcement cited litigation in Nebraska that could affect the pipeline’s route; as a result federal agencies will have more time to weigh in on the project before a final decision is made. “There’s no intent to delay the process,” a senior State Department official told reporters.
Administration critics are having none of that. “Here’s the single greatest shovel-ready project in America — one that could create thousands of jobs right away — but the president simply isn’t interested,” Senate Minority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) 42% said in a statement. Democrats in conservative-leaning states echoed the GOP critics, albeit with tempered rhetoric. Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA), who chairs the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, said she would “take decisive action to get this pipeline permit approved.” On the other hand, her counterpart at Environment and Public Works, Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) 6%, said the delay was “entirely correct.”
UI. Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) 13% and Sen. Dean Heller (R-NV) 56% are still pushing for House action on an extension of emergency unemployment insurance benefits (sub. req’d):
Heller — the Nevada Republican co-author of the bipartisan Senate bill — and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., spoke about unemployment benefits during a joint appearance Friday on KSNV, Las Vegas’ NBC affiliate.
“We will put together a meeting,” Heller said. “We couldn’t get it done before the break.”
The junior Nevada senator reiterated the possibility of compromise, referring to comments made earlier this month by House Rules Chairman Pete Sessions, R-Texas, who talked about tying the extension of unemployment insurance benefits to jobs measures and the extension of some tax breaks.
The bill is important to Nevada, which has the second-highest unemployment rate in the nation.
GOSNELL. Producers of a crowd funded movie about abortionist Kermit Gosnell, depicting his gruesome crimes, will speak at The Heritage Foundation on Tuesday, April 22nd about the progress of their funding campaign, which has raised over $1 million.