Thursday, March 27, 2008

McCain blocks good immigration bill


U.S. Rep. Heath Shuler says he believes Republican presidential candidate John McCain blocked his immigration bill from getting a vote on the U.S. House floor. McCain's staff denies it.

The Waynesville Democrat spoke to the Rotary Club of Hendersonville on Tuesday. He said the Republican leadership tried to bring the Secure America Through Verification and Enforcement Act to the House floor. They used a provision of House rules called a discharge petition, in which a simple majority can bring to the floor a bill that is stuck in committee.

The petition had 181 of the 217 signatures needed to force a vote on the bill.

"It was going great until McCain blocked it," Shuler said.

McCain, a U.S. senator from Arizona, called Republicans in Congress and asked them not to sign the petition, Shuler said. He said after McCain's intervention, Republicans in the House were less willing to sign onto the bill.

"We've really slowed down in the last week in Washington," Shuler said.

A spokesman for McCain denied any involvement, saying the senator has neither taken a position on the SAVE Act nor tried to block anyone from signing it.


The SAVE Act is in a strange position. Republicans want to force a vote on the bill, trying to show they are tough on immigration. The bill increases border security and requires employers to verify the residency status of new employees.

Shuler said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the Democratic leadership were not pleased with his attempts to get the bill to the House floor.

"They said (the bill) was not the proper thing for our caucus," Shuler said.

But he said the SAVE Act is "not about Democrats. Not about Republicans. It's about what is best for America."

Shuler said he went to Washington to solve problems and was not willing to go along with the leadership in his party.

"You can't be scared in Washington," Shuler said. "You have to do what is right."

Shuler said he understands party leadership and that the party system has a role. But he said partisanship and the struggle for power get in the way of solving problems.

"We need to move forward as a country," Shuler said. "Not as Democrats, not as Republicans."

I was strongly opposed to Shuler when he was running against Charles Taylor in 2006, but I have to admit that he is one of the best Democrats in the House. He has taken a number of positions which have the Asheville area moonbats swearing that they will never vote for him again so you know there has to be something about him to like.

In this he said/she said between him and McCain I absolutely believe Shuler's version. Especially since McCain's entire record on illegal immigration says that the more of it there is the happier he is.

Here is another indication that the Republican party is in the process of clutching a deadly viper to its bosom in nominating John McCain.