Monday, April 15, 2024

GOP Priorities Equates to Opposition to DREAM Act

In a letter sent to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on Wednesday, all 42 Senate Republicans vowed to oppose any legislative items during the lame duck session if the Bush tax cuts and funding the government aren’t debated; this opposition would include any action on the DREAM Act.

“[It’s] very cynical, but very obvious, [and] very transparent,” Reid said in response to the letter on the Senate floor Wednesday morning. “With this letter, they have simply put in writing the political strategy that the Republicans pursued this entire Congress, namely obstruct, delay; obstruct, delay action on critical matters and then blame the Democrats for not addressing the needs of the American people.”

The White House and Democrats have been pushing for bipartisanship to pass the DREAM Act during the lame duck session, which ends in just three weeks.  As reported by La Plaza, the legislation, which would give undocumented students brought to the US by their parents at an early age a path to legalization, has been tossed around in Congress for a decade now.

If it is not passed now, the letter of opposition by Republicans all but signals the legislation won’t be considered when the GOP-controlled House convenes next year.

“While there are other items that might ultimately be worthy of the Senate’s attention, we cannot agree to prioritize any matters above the critical issues of funding the government and preventing a job-killing tax hike,” the Republicans wrote in the letter.

A Reid spokesman singled out outgoing Florida Republican Senator, George LeMieux, saying, “It is unfortunate that Sen. Lemieux continues to move the goal posts on a bill as critical as the DREAM Act. He has raised concerns throughout the past months on border security and procedure around the DREAM Act, and all of those concerns have been addressed.  Now, Sen. Lemieux has signed a letter released by Republican leadership vowing to block all legislation in the Senate including DREAM, unless we first give tax cuts to the rich.”

Democratic strategists had targeted moderate Republicans and those with significant Hispanic populations in hopes of garnering bipartisan support for the bill.

The DREAM Act is not the only pressing matter Republicans would be throwing to the wind with their opposition.  Two million Americans will lose their unemployment benefits if an extension is not passed by the end of the year.


Sen. Harry Reid