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McConnell Is For, and Has Always Been For Amnesty
I thought Coulter was just in it to smear Cruz, but obviously she doesn’t know her McConnell from a hole in the ground.
A timeline of McConnell’s amnesty push:
- Mitch McConnell voted for amnesty in 1986 [RC #335, 10/17/86]
- Mitch McConnell co-sponsored amnesty in 2000 (AP, “Congress considering bill granting amnesty to illegal immigrants” 04/10/00)
- Mitch McConnell voted for amnesty in 2006 [RC #157, 05/25/06]
- Mitch McConnell voted against the border fence [RC #200, 07/13/06] before he decided to vote for it after it became popular [RC #262, 09/29/06]
- As his poll numbers began to tank ahead of the 2008 election, he changed his tune. He voted against the 2007 amnesty bill [RC #235, 06/28/07]. According to Robert Novak, “Not only did the minority leader end up voting against an immigration bill that he said was better than the 2006 version he supported, he abandoned his post, staying off the floor during final stages of the debate.” Also, “McConnell was among six switchers who voted no after the 40 senators needed to kill the bill were recorded.” He clearly supported amnesty, but voted against it in the end and remained silent throughout the debate because of political considerations.
- In December 2010, McConnell voted against the DREAM Act amnesty, but less than two years later, he had no opinion on it. In fact, he told reporters that he would not comment on the Dream Act until Romney comes out with a position because “he is the leader of our party.” The sitting leader of the Senate Republican conference refused to offer an opinion on amnesty. Is this leadership?
- During the 2013 amnesty fight, McConnell faced a similar predicament as in 2007. Facing a tough reelection, he chooses to publically oppose it in the end, while doing nothing to speak out against it, and even encouraging and praising it quietly.
- According to the Washington Post, McConnell tapped Rubio to join the Gang of 8 several months before the proposal went public, noting that “Rubio’s participation would be critical to winning conservative support.”
- On May 21, McConnell announced that we would not block the amnesty bill crafted by the Gang that he encouraged. He told reporters, “The Gang of Eight has made a substantial contribution to moving the issue forward. So far, I’m told that the Judiciary Committee has not in any fundamental way undone the agreement reached by the eight senators, so I’m hopeful we’ll be able to get a bill we can pass here in the Senate.” Hence, despite the committee voting down every attempt to place enforcement before legalization, and despite their successful block on barring amnesty to criminal aliens, McConnell actually said it was a good thing that the committee did not improve an already fatally flawed bill.
- Mitch McConnell remained silent during the entire month-long debate, even as conservatives expressed dozens of concerns with the bill.
- On the Thursday before the final vote, McConnell still told Sean Hannity “I don’t know how I’m going to vote in the end.” [06/20/13, Sean Hannity Show]
- Just two hours before the final vote on final passage, McConnell speaks against the bill and votes no [RC #168, 06/27/13]. He noted that border security was not a condition for legalization. The problem is that he already praised the bill out of committee when it was even worse. At least on a superficial level, the Corker-Hoeven amendment, which was incorporated into the final bill, strengthened border security more than the original bill that he praised. The bill was ‘legalization first; promise of enforcement later’ throughout the entire debate. That never changed. Only McConnell’s unprincipled vote changed.
- Even after voting against the bill, McConnell was on Meet the Press [7/14/13] expressing his hope that the House can go to conference with the Senate bill. Everyone knows that will not result in enforcement first.
- On July 16, McConnell told reporters that the Senate had a good year, noting among other things, passage of the immigration bill.
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