Tuesday, April 19, 2005

More reason to FIRE BILL FRIST

Yeah, I know that you can tell a politician is lying because his lips are moving but this is ridiculous:

SENATE Majority Leader Bill Frist may have just killed his hopes to be the Republican nominee for president in 2008 — by coming out against a proposal to bar illegal immigrants from getting drivers licenses.

All but one of the 19 9/11 hijackers had a valid drivers license. In a bid to tighten our security, House Judiciary Chairman F. James Sensenbrenner Jr. (R-Wisc.) is pushing legislation to make it illegal for a state to issue a drivers license to an illegal immigrant. At the moment, he's trying to pass it into law as an amendment to the Supplemental Defense Appropriation Bill.

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The Sensenbrenner bill would require states to ascertain that the applicant is here legally before granting him a drivers license that would be recognized as adequate identification to board an airplane. (States could also offer "soft-ID" licenses, which would not be adequate for air travel.)

Even though this measure is a vital part of our battle against terrorism, liberal Democrats and some big business Republicans are opposing it — the former on civil-liberty grounds, the latter because it would interfere with making money.

Knowing full well that a Democratic filibuster loomed in the Senate, House Republicans chose to tack the license ban onto the Intelligence Reform Bill the president was pushing last year. They knew that Democrats wouldn't dare filibuster the bill and their amendment could pass with a simple majority in the upper chamber.

But President Bush and House Speaker Dennis Hastert got Sensenbrenner to pull back that amendment — in return for their commitment to let him attach it to another piece of "must pass" legislation early in 2005. He decided to cash in on this commitment by tacking it onto the Supplemental Defense Appropriation Bill. Nobody is going to filibuster a bill to fund our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan in the middle of a war.

But now Sen. Frist has come out against amending the Defense Spending bill. He claims that he wants to "defer" consideration of a license ban until it can be part of a broader debate on immigration — one that he knows full well will run headlong into a Democratic filibuster.

By this sleight of hand, Frist hopes to set the ban on licenses for illegal immigrants up for a Democratic kill later in the year — and avoid getting the blame.

Whose best interest does this serve other than the bashHarryReid faction? The Senators are supposed to be protecting the American people, if there is a way to do so that is this basic and simple to pass, why is Frist subjecting it to political chicanery?

Again, it's time for a real leader for the Senate Majority.

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