In a joint statement issued last night, House Leader Dennis Hastert (R-IL) and Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) announced they would drop the provision from the House bill which would make illegal presence in the U.S. a felony.
"It remains our intent to produce a strong border security bill that will not make unlawful presence in the United States a felony."
GOP Leaders to Drop Felony for Immigrants By David Espo, AP 4/12/06
Well I just lost a bet...I thought the GOP would make it at least two weeks before surrendering. I gave them no chance of exercising logic and seeing these entitlement rallies for the garbage they are—nor did I think they would stand on principle...they don't have any left.
The thing is, this decision will neither please their constituency nor appease the opposition. Senator Kennedy (D-Chappaquiddick) had this response:
"Actions speak louder than words, and there's no running away from the fact that the Republican House passed a bill, and Senator Frist offered one, that criminalizes immigrants."
Hmm...most of the people attending the entitlement rallies are illegal aliens who can't vote. The Democrats are going to smear Republicans on this issue no matter what they do—the GOP could write a bill giving immediate citizenship to all 12 million illegals and they would still get kicked in the teeth by the liberal left.
It seems the only supporters they have left are old school Republicans—wait a minute, nope...they seem to be losing them too.
Good luck in '06 Hastert! Good luck in '08 Frist!