We can't possibly expect our Senators to read a 1200 page bill before voting on it. Can we? Well Thank God Ted Cruz read it. Not only did Cruz read it but he schooled anyone who would listen from the Senate floor on Tuesday. Cruz found a loophole that actually penalizes an employer $5000 for hiring a citizen over a legalized alien. Seriously. You can't make this stuff up. Senator Cruz was quoted as saying:
"I filed an amendment that would have corrected one of the most egregious aspects of the gang of eight bill as it intersects with Obamacare legislation, namely a penalty imposed on U.S. employers for hiring U.S. citizens and U.S. permanent residents. This bill says if an employer hires a citizen or a legal immigrant, the IRS can impose a $5,000 penalty on that employer. But if the employer instead hires someone with RPI status, that penalty will go away. That is utterly and completely indefensible."
"Nobody in this body wants to see African-American unemployment go up. Nobody wants to see Hispanic unemployment go up, youth unemployment go up, union household unemployment go up, legal immigrant unemployment go up. Yet every one of those will happen if this Gang of Eight bill passes without fixing this problem. If that happens, all 100 members of the U.S. Senate will be accountable to our constituents for explaining why we voted to put a federal penalty on hiring U.S. citizens and hiring legal immigrants. I hope this body will choose to pass my amendment and fix this grave defect in the Gang of Eight legislation."
It would be very interesting to know whose hand was responsible for slipping this into the bill but it surely won't be the only surprise that comes from a 1200 page bill that has not been scrutinized by the majority of those who voted to pass it.
John Hayward reports:
Cruz already weathered a few hilariously botched attempts to "fact-check" his claim into oblivion, which ended with the "fact checkers" admitting he was right about the problem, but questioning whether employers would respond to this incentive on the scale he envisions. (That, of course, is a difference of opinion, not a fact check.)
For added fun, the Weekly Standard collared five of the Democrat senators who voted to cut off debate on the immigration bill, and asked for their take on the problem Cruz describes. None of them knew if the loophole had been addressed yet. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) babbled something incoherent that had nothing to do with the question; Tom Carper (D-DE) snarled that he was too busy to answer the question; and Max "Train Wreck" Baucus, the author of ObamaCare, mumbled: "We're trying to solve that right now… I don't know if that's been solved."
America, what in the hell are these Senators trying to sell us? I don't even know where to begin with this story so I believe I will stop while I am ahead. Senator Cruz sums up the problem really well in the video. I will defer to the expert.
As my friend Jessica Smith told me yesterday when she passed this on, "Are you ready for your head to explode?" I think it already has Jessica.
This is unreal, unbelievable and unforgivable.