McCaul: Senate bill 'candy thrown down there' for votes
July 7th, 2013
02:56 PM ET
9 years ago

McCaul: Senate bill 'candy thrown down there' for votes

(CNN) - As Congress prepared to return to immigration reform next week, the debate over the issue continued Sunday, with the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee saying the Senate bill just throws "a bunch of candy" at the border "to gain votes."

"What the Senate just passed was, again, a bunch of candy thrown down there - a bunch of assets thrown down there to gain votes, but without a methodical, smart border approach. We want a smart border; we also want a smart immigration plan - something that makes sense," Rep. Mike McCaul, R-Texas, said on CBS's "Face the Nation."

The Senate passed a bipartisan immigration reform bill last month, 68-32. House Republicans will meet behind closed doors on Wednesday to discuss their next steps on the issue, but Republican leaders in the House say the bill is a nonstarter in their chamber, considering it includes a pathway to citizenship for most undocumented immigrants.

Meanwhile, a bipartisan group in the House is working on a separate immigration proposal, requiring border security be improved before citizenship provisions kick in. House Speaker John Boehner has said that lawmakers will craft their own bill or series of bills, separate from the Senate legislation.

The Senate bill included a last-minute, bipartisan amendment calling for tighter border security, to make the overall legislation more acceptable to Republicans.

McCaul called the amendment "not a responsible plan."

"I believe it was hatched at the last minute to get votes to pass in the Senate," he said.

Rep. Raul Labrador, R-Idaho, also took issue with the amendment allowing the administration to "determine when the border is secure." Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano has already said the border is secure, he pointed out.

"I think immigration reform is necessary," he said on NBC's "Meet the Press." "My concern with the Senate bill is that they put the legalization of 11 million people ahead of security. The legalization happens first, and then the security happens second. And I think the American people are not going to stand for that."

Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, said he hopes Republicans take up the Senate bill and insisted that Senate Republicans are not trying to "dictate" how House Republicans act on the legislation.

"We hope and pray that our Republican colleagues will take up the issue, and we can join together, Republicans and Democrats," he said, also appearing on "Face the Nation." "I believe that if they can come up with a bill we would be more than eager to negotiate with them. A failure to act is de facto amnesty for 11 million people living in the shadows."

But if Republicans fail to pass the Senate bill, will it hurt the party on the national front?

Asked if Senate Democrats are setting House Republicans up to fail, McCaul said, "My concern is that the political backdrop could be to see this fail in the House, so that they can blame the House of Representatives for that and then try to take back the House of Representatives."

CNN's Paul Steinhauser and Ashley Killough contributed to this report.

Filed under: 2013 • Immigration • John McCain • Mike McCaul • Raul Labrador
soundoff (23 Responses)
  1. CB FL

    Are all the Repugs from Texas bigots?

    July 7, 2013 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  2. John

    What Senator McCann wants is NO border plan, not a smart border plan.........He will do everything he can to stall, delay, avoid addressing the issue realisitically.......this of course makes him an ideal GOP House member

    July 7, 2013 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  3. rs

    "Candy throwing" is what they said won the election for Obama- forgetting of course that Romney has promised ANOTHER $800k in "tax relief" to the wealthiest Americans. That would be what I call good candy!
    BTW- who wants to spend $billions to put border guards every 1,000 feet along the border? Why, that's the GOP!

    July 7, 2013 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  4. Zerubbabel

    Can someone please tell me the difference between the repub right wing/tea party and the Muslim Brotherhood. Both have an exacting political philosophy/core beliefs that are uncompromising/purity that are their guiding principles. Both seek to establish their strict,erroneous religious agenda on an entire nation. Finally, both are incapable of governing do to this distorted ideology and lack of public support. They think 15 million Egyptians in the street demonstrating is impressive, try 60 million Americans of voting age in the streets, uncontrollable.

    July 7, 2013 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  5. Donkey Party

    The GOP is NOT serious about immigration reform, they never have been, and they never will be. Their open hostility toward minorities, gays, women, students, seniors, unions, gun control advocates, teachers, the poor, and the American middle-class in general, will certainly hasten their journey to extinction.

    July 7, 2013 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  6. Tony in Maine

    The GOP border plan was drawn up by the Kremlin years ago. Guard towers, spotlights, trip wires, land mines and whole divisions of border guards. Too bad that, when the Soviet Union collapsed, Ronnie Reagan didn't just hire the KGB Border troops and move them to the Mexican border.

    Change is coming. In the not too distant future the GOP will be consigned to permanent minority party status by thos people it hates and fears.

    July 7, 2013 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  7. Anonymous

    What are the Republicans in the House presenting as a smarter border plan? I keep hearing from the House that the Senate bill isnt good enough without hearing what they want to make it better.

    July 7, 2013 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  8. rs

    "We don't want this bill...(or plan, or whatever)" screams the GOP. I suspect they hope no one notices they have nothing. No plans, no bills- zip. Ignoring of course their perverted interest in the uterus- that, they'll gladly pass endless laws for.
    Sick, sick, sick!

    July 7, 2013 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  9. jboh

    The only "candy" was the Christmas in July for defense contractors. The Corker amendment requires billions in aircraft purchases for specific companies. TEA/GOP are still dancing on their corporate puppet-masters' strings.

    July 7, 2013 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  10. AssurHeX

    I'm with Zerubbabel however I'd like to add democrats and liberals to the list as well. Doesn't matter which side you choose from you still end up with trash.

    July 7, 2013 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  11. Donkey Party

    Fact: Under the Obama Administration, illegal immigration is at record lows, while deportations are at record highs, resulting in a net zero gain of illegal immigrants.

    When the GOP says our borders aren't secure, they are lying. When the GOP says they expect the number of illegal immigrants to double in the next decade, they are lying. Every strawman or boogeyman that the GOP tries to create, is a lie. When the GOP says the Senate immigration bill is "amnesty", it's a lie. How is it that Saint Reagan granted millions real amnesty with a mighty sweep of his pen, but paying back taxes, paying fines, learning English, and waiting 11-13 years under the Senate bill is called "amnesty"? The GOP and their base are imbeciles, but that doesn't mean the rest of America is.

    July 7, 2013 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  12. Ed1

    Send them all home and make them come in the front door like people before them.

    July 7, 2013 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  13. klr

    It doesn't matter what you do to the boarder if states keep providing sanctuary cities and give illegals drivers licenses. They know they are home free if they get past the boarder. The sates must be the ones to enforce the laws and turn every single illegal over to ICE once this amnesty goes through. Business owners who hire illegals must be prosecuted, not just given a slap on the wrist. Once this amnesty passes, there is no excuse to give any illegal in this country as pass on our laws.

    July 7, 2013 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  14. Ron L

    This is what I, along with 1000's of other Americans have been predicting for the last 4 months. NO MATTER what the Senate offered to get a immigration bill passed, the House Republicans are going to want MORE. I do agree, the last minute agreement to add 8 military style helicopters, a drone, and 300 miles more of the fence was and is a little over the top. BUT, if Rep. McCann feels it was just expensive "candy", I guess the Houses plan will not ask for such elaborate expenditures. (I am being sarcastic, they will probably ask for more)

    July 7, 2013 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  15. g

    stop all trade with mexico till they start paying for their people and funding for fence-why should americans pay

    July 7, 2013 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  16. NameTodd A

    What dumb clown would believe that a liberal is so worried about the Republicans never winning again if they vote no. Hilarious bs, and hiding in the shadows, yeah right, just go to any construction site were all the freeloader immigrants stole are construction jobs, Democrats are pathetic cheater liars, and now Republicans are there clown followers, like grade school, this is result of a non leader unqualified idiot president

    July 7, 2013 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  17. Michael Benjamin

    It is extremely doubtful if Congress is capable of producing a smart plan. To produce such a plan requires smart people which is obviously lacking with those currently serving.

    July 7, 2013 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |
  18. boungiorno

    a deal made w the devil its all the same just candy coated

    July 7, 2013 11:38 pm at 11:38 pm |
  19. Getoverit

    @CB FL
    Are all the Repugs from Texas bigots?
    Before you post your nonsense, maybe you should look up the definition of "bigot". You'll discover that you have no idea what you are talking about.

    July 8, 2013 01:22 am at 1:22 am |
  20. J.V.Hodgson

    What's new Republicans have oppose anything and everything proposed by the Obama administration and continue to threaten to repeal some legislation already law.
    They even prevented perfectly good job creating legislation ( AJA) being implemented on ideological grounds.
    They have only one policy and that is to oppose al the time any legislation proposed by Obama.
    That might pass muster if they had a single idea of how to do it better that can pass both Houses of the congress. they have never come up with one yet.
    I say let Republicans put forward their plan on immigration to the house and watch it fail unless it fully pander to the tea party in content that will be so severe, it will simply mean the House will lose any Hispanic votes by a bigger than the presidential vote margin.

    July 8, 2013 02:51 am at 2:51 am |
  21. just me

    @ CB: are all texas republicans bigots? No, it's just that everyone in their family, circle of friends, and their colleagues are on the pale side. Pure coincidence. Every time.

    July 8, 2013 03:57 am at 3:57 am |
  22. Richard Long

    At over 1000 pages and filled with exceptions, waivers, and pork, there is no way to enforce "legal" immigration nor provide any resemblance of border "security".

    July 8, 2013 05:41 am at 5:41 am |

    Can't wait to see the GOBP stuff immigration reform,then Jeb Bush down the tea potty's throats Mitt the twit style.

    July 8, 2013 05:57 am at 5:57 am |