Friday, July 14, 2006

Senate Fails To Back Tough Talk On Border Fence With Action

In May, the Republican-led Senate voted 83-16 to build 370 miles of fencing along the border.

Yesterday, the same Republican-led Senate voted 71-29 against providing the $1.8 billion needed to fund the fence.

"We do a lot of talking," said Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), who authored the funding proposal. "The things we do often sound very good, but we never quite get there."

Seems it's easier for the Senate to talk tough than act.


Regardless of how you feel about the fence, recognize that the Republicans were front and center in May advocating for it being built. All those television and radio soundbites serve a purpose -- advancing the idea that Republicans are tough on issues like immigration.

Go look at the coverage back in May, and you'll see that Democrats, regardless of how they voted, were generally left on the sidelines by the media.

That's in part because Republicans control the Senate. It's also because Republicans over the past few years have been better coordinated in advancing their spin on things than Democrats.

Will we now see a deluge of television talking heads criticizing the Republicans for failing to put their money where their mouths are? Stay tuned.


Why did the fence funding fail? Other Senators say that Sessions' amendment would have required cuts to the rest of the Homeland Security appropriations bill, cutting such things as border patrol hires.

Sessions said if his colleagues were serious, they'd find the funding. But Republicans, who control the purse strings in the Senate, failed to offer alternate spending bills.

That led Sessions to this remarkable bit of honesty. "We will rightly be accused of not being serious about the commitments we've made to the American people. ... They don't respect what we've done in the past, and they should not."

Truer words have rarely been spoken in Washington.


Anonymous fasttense said...

Yep, the blow hard repukes love to talk about security but they never put their money or their lives on the line.

11:56 AM  
Anonymous wryter2000 said...

It makes sense

They're planning a faith-based wall.

12:27 PM  
Anonymous ThomCat said...

They get away with double standards

They can tell the people who want the fense that they supported it. And then they can tell the people who are against the fense that they opposed it.

But nobody in the media will endlessly repeat that they were for it before they were against it.

12:28 PM  
Blogger thewaronterrible said...

The Democrats must bring such issues as above to the fore to ensure the takeover of congress in November. Two brand new polls by AP and Fox News show the Dems lead the Republicans on every issue except for terrorism and national security.
This lead would be erased if the mainstream media afforded the masses with the facts. The perceived Republican advantage, of course, results from the successful Rove campaign of baseless, lying spin that keeps on reappearing like a fungus stain on a basement wall no matter how many times you wash it off.
But the Democrats must use irrefutable facts to show Rethugs in control of congress have (1) failed to follow the recommendations of the 9-11 commission (2) have squashed most every Democratic proposal to increase funding for, or otherwise strengthen homeland security (3) have continued to refuse to change the direction in Iraq despite (a) factual reports from the State Department and several global terrorism experts and agencies that the war is increasing global terrorism and (b) expenditures of billions of taxpayer dollars each week conditions for Iraquis and U.S. troops have only deteriorated and gotten worse.
I've only touched on the issue but the Democrats have the facts on their side.
For the good of the country, it should be more than enough to unravel Rovian/Bushie bullsh-- this fall.

12:36 PM  
Anonymous zbdent said...

I can just see how they'd build it truck in a bunch of illegal Mexican workers (using the truck laws Bush signed during the first few months in office) ...

Tell them that they're going to work on construction for $X an hour.

Have them put in a full day's work.

As they're lining up to get paid, "INS" comes by, ships the "illegals" back to Mexico.

On the ride "home", the truck crosses paths with the next day's shipment of workers coming the other way ...

2:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

bush world, it's a crazy place-now more than ever.

10:39 AM  
Anonymous trinity said...

More from the same article....

"Kris Kobach, who was a counsel to the attorney general under John Ashcroft, told a House subcommittee last week that one of the most unusual aspects of the Senate bill is a provision -- slipped into the more-than-800-page bill moments before the final vote -- that would require the United States to consult with the Mexican government before constructing the fencing.

"I know of no other provision in U.S. law where the federal government requires state and local governments -- every state and local government on the border -- to consult with state and local governments of a foreign power before the federal government can act," he said.

"Now, from my experience as a Justice Department official, when we had consultation requirements with the State Department, just getting two agencies in the executive branch to consult took months or years," said Mr. Kobach, now a professor at the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law. "If you add this, three levels of government and a foreign power, your delay" will never end."

Considering that idiotic provision that was added to the bill, perhaps it's a good thing not to go ahead with the plans until the Senate actually understands what it is they voted on. Sounds like a potential nightmare to me.

10:59 PM  
Anonymous alias: "cutiepie" johnson said...

Trinity, that may be, but as Sessions said, if the Senate really wanted to pass funding for the fence, it would do so. If that meant stripping the part of the proposal you mention, so be it.

I also agree with ThomCat. The initial vote smelled of politics at the time, rather than a well-thought-out policy. The same people who argued we must do something can now tell their voters that they were fiscally responsible.

Many critics have said this is a do-nothing Congress. This is a perfect example of just that.

2:57 AM  
Anonymous Norquist Nemesis said...

Out of curiosity, did you watch the debate?

I watched a good part of it, particularly at the end and just before the vote. What the "news" and talkingheads are failing to discuss is where the money would have come from. It wasn't an increase in spending, from what I got out of the 'debate'. In order to fund, it would have cut CIA and border patrol funding to name a couple. Senators weren't willing to make those cuts to build a fence.

5:24 PM  
Anonymous redqueen said...

Idiots! Republicans can't be trusted with power!

Wasting all that time... and for what?

Oh that's right I forgot... their idiotic supporters eat the BS up.


5:24 PM  
Anonymous Rex said...

Dem campaign ad - 'The things we do often sound very good but we never quite get there.' From the mouth of a GOPer. How much easier can they make it?

5:24 PM  
Anonymous OrangeCountyDemocrat said...

They Would Never Hire You To Be A Consultant...

Your idea makes FAR too much sense.

I'm sure they'll think of something suitably lame in comparison.

But I agree with you, that would make a funny and worthwhile ad.

5:24 PM  
Anonymous High Plains said...

Good. What a stupid idea in the first place.

5:25 PM  

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