Archive for Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Jenkins: No immigration reform until White House or Senate changes hands

March 11, 2014


Kansas Congresswoman Lynn Jenkins said this week that the Republican-controlled House will not consider an immigration reform bill until President Barack Obama is out of office, or until the GOP wins back control of the Senate.

"With the president just unilaterally deciding what laws he wants to enforce, which ones he wants to change, and which ones he wants to ignore, we just decided until we get a president and administration we can trust," the House won't take up the issue, Jenkins said in a telephone interview Monday.

Jenkins was in Douglas County Monday to hold a town hall meeting in Baldwin City and visit with local businesses. A Republican from Topeka, her district includes all of Douglas County.

She said the distrust that House GOP leaders feel toward Obama stems largely from his handling of the federal health care law, commonly known as Obamacare. And she said the House would not vote on immigration reform until Obama is out of office, "Or at least until there's another chamber that can hold him more accountable."

"Right now, if Mitt Romney were president, I don't think anyone would be standing still for him making 13 unilateral changes to a health care law," she said. "You just can't do that. And so until there's some confidence that he can be held accountable or be trusted to implement the laws that we pass, it would be pointless to have this (immigration) debate."

In June, the Senate passed an immigration bill on a bipartisan vote, 68-32. It called for adding 20,000 additional border security officers and completion of a 700-mile fence along the U.S. border with Mexico. It would also give "provisional" residency status to some undocumented immigrants currently in the country.

But Jenkins said that bill was "blue-slipped" by the House, meaning it was sent back to the Senate without consideration because it included spending increases. The House has long maintained that the U.S. Constitution requires bills calling for new taxes or appropriations to originate in the lower chamber

"It will never find its way to the House," she said. "I think that's one of the reasons they (the Senate) did it that way, they knew the House couldn't act on it."

Jenkins was the principal sponsor of a bill passed in the House last week to delay for one year the health care law's requirement that most individuals carry health insurance this year. It was criticized by Democrats for being the 50th vote in the House to chip away at the president's signature piece of domestic legislation, and Obama promised to veto it if it ever reached his desk.

But Jenkins defended the bill, and the numerous House votes to block Obamacare.

"We do it because whether it's the first vote or the 50th vote, it's the right thing to do," Jenkins said. "And we're still not convinced that while he sent a veto message over on my bill ... I still think it's in the realm of possibility he'll go ahead and accept that change and do it. He just wants it to be his own action. He doesn't want to work with Congress on anything."

Jenkins also said there is little chance the House will vote on Obama's proposal to raise the minimum wage to $10.10.


Amy Varoli Elliott 4 years, 3 months ago

They should pass a law that says only mature adults can hold office, not just adults

Steve Bunch 4 years, 3 months ago

Their "distrust" of the president began well before the Affordable Care Act, in fact even before his first inauguration. It seems to be hard for our elected representatives to trust a darkly pigmented president with a foreign-sounding name. That doesn't speak well for our representatives and it doesn't speak well for the voters who elected them.

James Howlette 4 years, 3 months ago

I think we should work on getting a House we can trust.

dale thompson 4 years, 3 months ago

don't look now James but I think the republicans just took a big step in that direction by kissing goodbye the Spanish vote in the next election. So wonderful to see the "I'm taking my ball and going home" mentality is not limited to 4th graders.

James Bowen 4 years, 3 months ago

Dale, the "Spanish" vote is not theirs to lose, and it is that way for reasons other than immigration. Hispanic does not automatically mean pro-amnesty. As a matter of fact, Hispanics would be disproportionately harmed by any amnesty or immigration increase.

Jack Vance 4 years, 3 months ago

I am not a constitutional scholar either, but anyone with a basic civics course knows that only the executive branch can enforce laws or prosecute crimes. This would require that Eric Holder (the current attorney general) bring charges against his own boss. The basic problem is that the president is the chief law enforcement officer in the country and hence he is pretty much above ordinary law enforcement. Plus, he cannot be removed from office as long as his party controls at least one house of congress. So this is check mate. Obama is a ex-professor of constitutional law, so he knows full well no one can touch him. Naturally the ultimate accountability mechanism is the voters. However, as long as the people like you support him, he can get away with any action he undertakes (including drone assassinations where he is judge, jury and executioner). So at the moment, the courts cannot touch him and the congress has few points of leverage. Obama is all powerful, and holds all the cards.

James Howlette 4 years, 3 months ago

Yes, yes, he's all powerful and holds all the cards except when he wears mom jeans and isn't a true leader like Putin. Or something. I forget which days he's supposed to be the all powerful dictator and which days he's supposed to be the weakling.

Julius Nolan 4 years, 3 months ago

Lynn has no clue about anything. Obama is black and that's all Lynn needed to know, That alone makes him unfit per the GOP Tea Party.

James Bowen 4 years, 3 months ago

You don't know that. I have not seen any evidence whatsoever that Rep. Jenkins is motivated by bigotry.

Terry Thatcher 4 years, 3 months ago

But, she is motivated by idiocy. She is just not very smart, and acts like a spoiled child.

Mike Ford 4 years, 3 months ago

you don't remember the Great White Hope comment three years ago do you? good memory eh?

Scott Burkhart 4 years, 3 months ago

Oh, I see. You're one of the people with no intelligent input to the discussion so you resort to name calling. Just because someone disagrees with the president does not make them racist. By your obtuse logic, every black individual that has disagreed with all presidents prior to Barack Hussein Obama is a racist. You're really just a reverse birther. Additionally, I would ask you to produce one piece of evidence where any of the Tea Party affiliated groups have exhibited racism.

Mike Ford 4 years, 3 months ago

nonsense quit doing the dance around the subject admit what's being done and stop doing it. no one is fooled.

Leslie Swearingen 4 years, 3 months ago

Here you can find their official statement as to what they stand for.

Richard Heckler 4 years, 3 months ago

There are plenty of laws on the books. Why make more? Enforce existing laws and/or bust the employers.

How can the employers not be guilty IF immigrants are here illegally?

James Bowen 4 years, 3 months ago

This is a big relief to hear Rep. Jenkins say this. We must do whatever it takes to stop amnesty and more immigration. The U.S. is already overpopulated.

Bob Reinsch 4 years, 3 months ago

Paraphrasing... "Choose your enemies well, for you shall come to resemble them". How ironic for the House, controlled by the Republicans, so critical of the poor that are dependent upon food stamps and government aid, that they are choosing the path of doing nothing, yet still expect a paycheck... and free healthcare.

Scott Burkhart 4 years, 3 months ago

@Bob Reinsch - I don't agree, Bob, that the House Republicans are "critical" of the poor. Especially those that are dependent on the WIC program and other government services. My belief is the Republican party, generally speaking, is critical of programs that entrap people in to the poverty cycle. Every society, since the beginning of time, has had the poor to care for. Our society is no different. The problem comes from when government makes it too easy to quit being a productive member of society and become a burden to it. The greater the tax base, the better it is for all citizens. Our country has the lowest job participation rate in the last 50 years. The "Great Society" created by LBJ, still has the same percentage of people living below the poverty line as it did when it was enacted. Additionally, more children are being born out of wedlock and now, more than 50% of minority families are single parent homes. These are HUD statistics not mine. There must come a time when we look at how we are "helping" low income families. I am surprised that you would perpetuate the, "starving children" and "throwing grandma off of a cliff" narrative when that couldn't be further from the truth.

Greg Cooper 4 years, 3 months ago

So, by your reasoning, Scott, we should eliminate or cut the programs that help the poor so that the number of poor living in poverty--whatever the percentage before or after the Great Society implementation-- will become magically lower.

In what way, Scott, do you "republicans" envision this will happen? By cutting programs so the people will be forced to work, right? And where are those vast number of jobs to come from? Oh, right, trickle down economice, another "Republican" pet vision.

If you actually believe that line of bull hockey, you are ignoring history as well as reality. No problem we have as a nation is easy to solve, but ignoring the immigrant "problem" is NOT going to repair anything. The childish blocking of any legislation because one does not like the other party's leader is simply, well, childish.

William Weissbeck 4 years, 3 months ago

To quote one the phrases we used in the 70's, "that's mighty white of Jenkins" to set the terms of when the GOP will agree to legislate. Used to live in the 2nd. We used to have some fine Reps. Jenkins is fast approaching Jim Jeffries as one of the bigger embarrassments. Stop drinking directly from the water trough and vote some common sense.

Scott Burkhart 4 years, 3 months ago

President, when lobbying for the ACA (Obamacare for those of you that don't know the difference), President Obama told the nation that the savings for the average family would be $2500. He was recently doing an interview where he was telling the average family where it could cut its budget in order to afford the health insurance. This is my question: What the heck does this president know about cutting budgets?

James Howlette 4 years, 3 months ago

Other than signing in one trillion dollars of discretionary budget cuts with the sequester and all that stupid chatter about chained CPIs and grand bargains? I'd say he knows a little too much about cutting budgets, and I'd also say that you have a remarkably short memory.

Seth Peterson 4 years, 3 months ago

Selective, not short, he has a selective memory.

Julius Nolan 4 years, 3 months ago

We need to change control of the House by getting rid of Lynn and those like her. Then the country can start making progress for everyone's job status, income, health resources and the like.

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