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August 3, 2015

Democrats Whipping Ayotte Amendment, With Immigration Politics Center Stage

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 11:13 p.m. | Senate Democrats have begun whipping an amendment from Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., to the stalled jobless benefits bill, hoping to use it as a political hammer against GOP senators who are looking to the measure to cater to their conservative bases.

Sources confirmed that Senate Majority Whip Richard J. Durbin’s vote-counting operation over the weekend started gauging whether Democrats could stand firm against the proposal that would eliminate tax credits for the children of undocumented immigrants, millions of whom are American citizens. Similar legislation previously had been championed by Sens. David Vitter, R-La., and Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., who lacked support for the initiative and failed in multiple attempts to bring it to the floor.

Democrats say they are checking with their caucus to ensure they would have enough votes to block the Ayotte measure in the event they offer a vote on it to Republicans in exchange for support on cloture of the bill. The result would be a rare political test vote that could be embraced by both parties in the opening days of 2014. Republicans fearful of primaries can prove their conservative bona fides “by stopping a scheme that currently [benefits] illegal immigrants,” according to a press advisory last week. Democrats in turn can use the measure as an example of how the GOP is anti-immigrant to the point of taking punitive measure against millions of legal citizens, even in the chamber that approved a comprehensive immigration overhaul.From the Roll Call story last week, on Democrats’ concerns with the Ayotte bill:

But the Democrats’ bigger issue with the proposal is just who would be affected by eliminating the “loophole” created by not requiring Social Security numbers to qualify for the Additional Child Tax Credit. Any person born in the United States is by Constitutional definition a United States citizen, even if their parents are not. According to a Pew Hispanic analysis in 2010 (the most recent of its kind), more than 4 million American-born children of undocumented parents lived in the U.S. — nearly 80 percent of all children of undocumented immigrant parents under the age of 18.

It’s not yet clear whether Republicans will find any Democrats to join them in this effort, though a potential target is a member like Sen. Joe Manchin III, D-W.Va., who consistently has demonstrated a willingness to break ranks. Backers of the GOP effort point to a 2011 Treasury Inspector General report finding billions in refundable tax credits going to people not qualified to work in the United States. That report suggested that Congress pass legislation clarifying the issue.

“The payment of Federal funds through this tax benefit appears to provide an additional incentive for aliens to enter, reside, and work in the United States without authorization, which contradicts Federal law and policy to remove such incentives,” the report said.

Meanwhile, the prospects of approving an extension of the lapsed, long-term unemployment benefits lost by 1.3 million Americans seemed to wane at the end of last week. Republicans are demanding the cost of the patch be fully offset, but have yet to offer an alternative to Democrats that would be politically viable. Many of the six Republicans who supported opening debate on the bill have said they will not vote to close debate unless those pay-fors are present. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., has expressed an openness to amendments but told CQ Roll Call that the two ideas floated by the GOP, the Ayotte amendment and delaying the Obamacare individual mandate by a year, “aren’t too good.” He characterized the Ayotte plan as “going after little kids.”

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  1. MrSmith

    Jan. 13, 2014
    7:43 p.m.

    The Democrats claim that only Hispanics use the Additional Child Tax Credit to commit fraud… in an attempt to curry favor with Hispanics?
    Now that’s “only in America’s media” politics!

  2. Chin Kim Chong

    Jan. 13, 2014
    10:13 p.m.

    Rising taxes on American kids

    • MrSmith

      Jan. 13, 2014
      11:19 p.m.

      It’s not ‘kids’ that commit fraud with the Additional Child Tax Credit becuase it doesn’t require SS numbers.
      According to the Democrats it’s only Hispanic adults who do.

      • Chin Kim Chong

        Jan. 14, 2014
        11:47 a.m.

        Ok so the parents would have less money to support the kids, right?

        • MrSmith

          Jan. 14, 2014
          2:41 p.m.

          People claiming the credit fraudently don’t even need to have kids.
          They just check the box and get the money. No evidence (not even a SS number) is required.
          Some tax-cheats do have children, but supporting children by tax fraud isn’t a good thing.

          Our welfare system is so generous to children no child suffers unless their parents misuse welfare.
          But, sadly, I see that happen too often.

          • Chin Kim Chong

            Jan. 15, 2014
            12:45 p.m.

            So many American are doing it

        • newyorkroger

          Jan. 15, 2014
          4:32 a.m.

          CHIN- I think you meant to say: “So the parents who have entered the country illegally and who are working here illegally would have less U.S. tax-payer dollars to help support kids who might not even exist?”

          Immigrants say, “We’re just come here to work.” yea, apparently, they just come here to work and get free cash from the government to go along with their free education and “free” emergency room care.

    • newyorkroger

      Jan. 15, 2014
      4:39 a.m.

      No taxes are being raised on anyone. Child tax credit is a refund check. Simply not sending U.S. tax dollars to families who are in the country illegally.
      Besides every “American kid” who has a social security number (and they all should) can still get the credit.

      • bp294

        Jan. 15, 2014
        12:46 p.m.

        @newyorkroger, I can think of two anti-CIR groups that could benefit from your voice, esp. as a man of color: NumbersUSA + Progressives for Immigration Reform. (I’ve been following your comments for some time.) With regard to the former, I wish you’d contact me at bp294*hotmail for further details.

  3. MrArchieBunker

    Jan. 14, 2014
    9:16 a.m.

    The GOP / Republicans & Tea Partiers have an Illness that is worse than cancer its called OBAMISITIS :-).





    By 2016 another 5 to 10.000.000 republican senior voters will pass away. And by 2020 another 10 to 20.000.000 million will pass away , so will the GOP= GRUMPY OLD PEOPLE .
    There are 50,000 Latinos coming of age to vote every month= over 3.000.000 THREE MILLION NEW VOTERS for 2016 AND ANOTHER 5.000.000 VOTERS IN 2020.THEY ALL ARE CERTAINLY GOING TO VOTE REPUBLICANS :) HA HA HA THANKS FOR THE LAUGH :):):)


    For all the tough talk about immigration reform, the House has done NOTHING on border security and the Senate has.

    Likewise, they’ve done NOTHING to solve the visa overstay issue, workplace verification or the H-1B visa problem. It is well and good to vaguely declare the Gang of Eight bill insufficient, but certainly it does more for border security and these other issues than House Republicans have managed to do (which is NOTHING).

    The argument that the House can do NOTHING runs headlong into anti-immigration forces hype about the out-of-control border and the supposed economic burdens of illegal immigration. If it’s such a horrible problem — immigrants pouring over the border and all — why is the REPUBLICAN CONTROLLED HOUSE JUST SITTING THERE?????

    Another Year of OPEN BORDERS
    Another Year of BORDER CROSSINGS,
    Another Year of VISA OVER STAYS,

    Thanks Republicans the Undocumented are Happy that you’ll ar doing NOTHING :) Just PANDERING TO YOUR BASE.

    In poll after poll, roughly three-quarters of Americans say they support a path to citizenship along the lines laid out in the Senate bill, which calls for a minimum wait of 13 years for most illegal immigrants. In a Gallup poll last month, for example, 87 percent said they would vote in favor of a bill that “would allow illegal immigrants living in the U.S. the opportunity to become citizens after a long waiting period if they paid taxes and a penalty, pass a criminal background check, and learn English.”

    Twelve percent said they would oppose such a measure. That is the 12 percent to whom House Republicans are listening. And 12 percent is a long, long way from 51 percent.

    By rejecting immigration, the Republicans in the House are sending a message that they’re not interested in being part of the solution. “If you only have to worry about your right flank — you don’t have to worry about a general election, don’t have to worry about governing — that’s a pretty easy gig, isn’t it? What the hell is the point?”

    Paul Ryan The Budget Committee chairman, whose next job may be head of the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee, makes his case based on numbers.

    ‘‘Baby boomers are retiring to the tune of 10,000 people a day for the next 10 years,’’ Ryan said. ‘‘We’re going to have labor shortages in this country in the next decade. We need to have our immigration system prepared for that. It’s going to take time to do that and that’s why I think we need to do it now.’’

    If immigration reform crashes, there will be one and only one reason: a failure of leadership by House Republicans.
    The votes to enact meaningful reform already exist. The only question is whether House Republicans will allow them to be cast.

    • Barb3000

      Jan. 15, 2014
      1:26 a.m.


  4. newyorkroger

    Jan. 15, 2014
    3:59 a.m.

    Democrats are wrong here and I’m a Democrat. It makes no sense to give tax credits to people who should not even be in the country and on top of that you are giving them money to support kids who may not even exist.
    All U.S. born kids can get a Social Security number No number, no tax credit. Republicans need to hold out on this one.

  5. MoMo

    Jan. 15, 2014
    5:36 a.m.

    The story here should read “Democrats favor Illegal immigrants over Unemployed American Citizens”

    • JimmyBiden

      March 6, 2014
      8:02 a.m.

      It should read “Democrats favor illegal immigrants who commit tax fraud, robbing U.S. taxpayers of billions, over unemployed American citizens.”

  6. Bozeman

    Jan. 15, 2014
    12:03 p.m.

    Whether it’s murdering the unborn or attempting to deny care to the born, like Sarah Murnaghan, today’s liberalism is basically a death cult.

  7. Howdy Boyz

    Jan. 16, 2014
    12:08 a.m.

    Today’s liberalism is like communism without the manifesto.

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