There has been a lot of talk recently about the immigration bill that Congress will be considering in the near future. There is one school of thought that says it is a political bill–not designed to pass, but designed to make House Republicans lose the 2014 election. Based on some recent changes to the original bill, that seems to be very likely.
The article reports:
The bill establishes a “Comprehensive Immigration Reform Trust Fund” to cover the various costs of reform. It directs that when the bill is enacted, $6.5 billion will be transferred from the Treasury to the trust fund. And then the bill specifies money to be appropriated for the start-up costs of the process to legalize the estimated 11 million immigrants currently in the country illegally.
The original bill said this: “On the later of the date of the enactment of this Act or October 1, 2013, $100,000,000 is hereby appropriated from the general fund of the Treasury, to remain available until September 30, 2015, to the Department [of Homeland Security] to pay for one-time and startup costs necessary to implement this act.”
The substitute bill reads differently: “On the later of the date of the enactment of this Act or October 1, 2013, $1,000,000,000 is hereby appropriated from the general fund of the Treasury, to remain available until September 30, 2015, to the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of State to pay for one-time and startup costs necessary to implement this Act.”
Wow. We went from $100,000,000 to $1,000,000,000, and the bill hasn’t even passed yet. Imagine where it could go if it were passed!
The article in the Washington Examiner includes an update:
UPDATE: After this item was posted, a Gang of Eight spokesman emailed to say that, “The initial $100 million number listed for startup was incorrect; $1 billion is needed to ramp up operations to handle 11 million applicants and other new visa programs. The money will be refunded to the Treasury from fines collected, so it is deficit neutral over the next few years.”
Somehow that doesn’t make me feel any better.