From the Folks Who Brought You Double Digit Increases in Your Health Care Premiums…

obamacare-rotator-720x480Heading into the final two weeks of the 2016 elections, the bombshell news is that health insurance premiums are set to spike next year. For those covered under the federally managed HealthCare.gov, the average increase will be 25 percent, with a ripple effect that is likely to affect everyone in the United States who has health insurance.

That’s not what was supposed to happen. The legislation that created this system was, after all, called the Affordable Care Act. The promise was that it would deliver quality health care to everyone at premiums people could afford. Very few people can afford a 25 percent increase, much less the 116 percent rate hike projected for some people who live in Arizona.

The next big government program that promises big benefits for everyone is the Gang of Eight immigration “reform” bill, version 2.0 (G8 2.0). That’s the one that promises to deliver amnesty for millions of “rigorously vetted” illegal aliens, millions more legal immigrants and guest workers, more prosperity for everyone, huge boosts to GDP, endless streams of revenue flowing into the Treasury, airtight borders, and every other good thing you can conjure up.

Many of the same members of Congress who were instrumental in getting the Affordable Care Act enacted, and who are still around, are gearing up for a big G8 2.0 push in 2017. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) who, depending on what happens in the elections could be Senate Majority Leader come January, told CNBC that passing a massive amnesty bill would be the first item on his agenda.

Unlike the battle over Obamacare, Schumer is counting on the support of a significant number of Republicans to seal the deal on so-called immigration reform. Four of the original members of the Gang of Eight were Republicans and the bill cleared the Senate with a 68-32 majority.

The possibility of another serious effort to pass an immigration bill that allows Congress to claim credit for action now while sticking the American public with massive unintended consequences a few years down the road, falls squarely within parameters of what New York Times columnist Ross Douthat described as “the dangers of elite groupthink” that grips most major policy debates. “Almost every crisis that has come upon the West in the last 15 years has its roots in this establishmentarian type of folly,” he observed.

An almost unblemished record of being wrong about pretty much everything will in no way deter the ruling classes in Congress, the media, and in corporate board rooms from pushing full speed ahead with the next great folly: mass amnesty and unchecked immigration packaged as “reform” and “compromise.”

As was the case in 2013 and 2014, it will be up to the American public to push back.

44 Senators Vote to Protect Criminal Aliens in the U.S., Their Constituents Should Ask them Why

SenateForty-four members of the United States Senate voted Wednesday to block “A bill to ensure that State and local law enforcement may cooperate with Federal officials to protect our communities from violent criminals and suspected terrorists who are illegally present in the United States.”

The bill introduced by Sen. Patrick Toomey (R-Pa.), known as the Stop Dangerous Sanctuary Cities Act (S. 3100), failed to get the necessary 60 votes needed to bring it to the floor of the Senate for a straight up or down vote. The vote in the Senate to kill S. 3100 came one year after a seven-time convicted felon, Francisco Sanchez, killed Kate Steinle as she walked with her father along San Francisco’s waterfront. Sanchez was on that pier last July 1 precisely because of sort of dangerous sanctuary policies that are in place in San Francisco and many other jurisdictions around the country.

Here is the list of the 44 senators who killed the bill that might keep other innocent Americans from being killed by criminal aliens who roam the streets due to dangerous sanctuary policies. Perhaps their constituents should ask them why.

Baldwin (D-WI)
Bennet (D-CO)
Blumenthal (D-CT)
Booker (D-NJ)
Boxer (D-CA)
Cantwell (D-WA)
Cardin (D-MD)
Carper (D-DE)
Casey (D-PA)
Coons (D-DE)
Durbin (D-IL)
Feinstein (D-CA)
Franken (D-MN)
Gillibrand (D-NY)
Heinrich (D-NM)
Heitkamp (D-ND)
Hirono (D-HI)
Kaine (D-VA)
King (I-ME)
Kirk (R-IL)
Klobuchar (D-MN)
Leahy (D-VT)
Markey (D-MA)
McCaskill (D-MO)
Menendez (D-NJ)
Merkley (D-OR)
Mikulski (D-MD)
Murphy (D-CT)
Murray (D-WA)
Nelson (D-FL)
Peters (D-MI)
Reed (D-RI)
Reid (D-NV)
Sanders (I-VT)
Schatz (D-HI)
Schumer (D-NY)
Shaheen (D-NH)
Stabenow (D-MI)
Tester (D-MT)
Udall (D-NM)
Warner (D-VA)
Warren (D-MA)
Whitehouse (D-RI)
Wyden (D-OR)

Trump Considering Pro-Amnesty Senator as VP

American flag close up with star confetti (P)According to several media outlets, Donald Trump is considering Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) as his running mate now that the business mogul has essentially clinched the Republican nomination. If Corker’s name sounds familiar, that’s because he was instrumental in getting the Gang of Eight amnesty bill passed in the Senate. For those with short memory, back in the summer of 2013 with the mass guest worker amnesty bill’s support waning (not to mention extremely unpopular with the American people), Corker teamed up with Sen. John Hoeven (R-N.D.) on a faux border security amendment that sold out the American people and essentially ensured enough votes to pass. As FAIR pointed out at the time, the Corker-Hoeven amendment was a mirage that kept the amnesty first, enforcement later (if ever) approach that then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) called a “wonderful product.”

Trump’s consideration of pro-amnesty Sen. Corker as a potential vice president is confusing given that Trump’s campaign has centered on immigration enforcement. Indeed, Trump was the first candidate to release an immigration plan; one that rejected amnesty and insisted that the interests of Americans come first. Bob Corker sent a clear message in 2013 that he prioritizes amnesty for law breaking illegal aliens rather than enforcing our laws and protecting U.S. citizens.

Key Immigration Hearings—Week of March 21

test_capitol_jpgThere are several important immigration-related hearings on Capitol Hill during the week of March 21 that FAIR wants to make you aware of.

Tuesday, March 22 at 2 p.m. EST

The House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere is holding a hearing entitled, “Potential Terrorist Threats: Border Security Challenges in Latin America and the Caribbean.” Three administration officials are testifying at the hearing: Mr. Juan Gonzales, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs, U.S. Department of State; The Honorable Alan D. Bersin, Assistant Secretary for International Affairs and Chief Diplomatic Officer, U.S. Department of Homeland Security; and Mr. Lev Kubiak, Assistant Director for International Operations, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

You can watch the hearing live here.

Wednesday, March 23 at 9 a.m. EST

The House Homeland Security Committee is holding a markup (amending) on H.R. 4482, the Southwest Border Security Threat Assessment Act of 2016.

Wednesday, March 23 at 9 a.m. EST

The House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittees on National Security and Government Operations are holding a hearing entitled, “National Security: Threats at our Borders.” Five witnesses are testifying at the hearing: Mr. Ronald D. Vitiello, Acting Chief, Border Patrol, U.S. Customs and Border Protection; Mr. Brandon Judd, President, National Border Patrol Council; Mr. Steven C. McCraw, Director, Texas Department of Public Safety; Mr. Jan C. Ting, Professor of Law, Temple University Beasley School of Law; and Ms. Eleanor Acer, Senior Director, Refugee Protection, Human Rights First.

You can watch the hearing live here.

Wednesday, March 23 at 9:30 a.m. EST

The House Foreign Affairs Committee is holding a full committee hearing entitled, “The Administration’s Plan to Close the Guantanamo Bay Detention Facility: At What Foreign Policy and National Security Cost?.” Two administration officials are testifying at the hearing: Mr. Lee Wolosky, Special Envoy for Guantanamo Closure, U.S. Department of State and Mr. Paul M. Lewis, Special Envoy for Guantanamo Closure, U.S. Department of Defense.

You can watch the hearing live here.

Key Immigration Hearings—Week of March 14

capitol_031516_185x100There are several important immigration-related hearings on Capitol Hill during the week of March 14 that FAIR wants to make you aware of.

Tuesday, March 15 at 10 a.m. EST

The House Judiciary Executive Overreach Task Force is holding a hearing entitled, “Executive Overreach in Domestic Affairs Part I – Health Care and Immigration.” The witness list consists of four attorneys: Elizabeth Papez; Prof. Josh Blackman; Simon Lazarus; and Elizabeth Slattery.

You can watch the hearing live here.

Tuesday, March 15 at 10 a.m. EST

The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee is holding a hearing entitled, “The Security of U.S. Visa Programs.” Four administration officials are testifying: David Donahue, Principal Deputy Assistance Secretary of State; Leon Rodriguez; director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services; Sarah Saldana, director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement; and John Roth, inspector general of the Department of Homeland Security.

You can watch the hearing live here.

Wednesday, March 16 at 10 a.m. EST

The House Judiciary Committee is holding a markup (amending) on H.R. 4731, the Refugee Program Integrity Restoration Act of 2016.

You can watch the markup live here.

Wednesday, March 16 at 10 a.m. EST

The Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration and the National Interest is holding a hearing entitled, “The Impact of High Levels of Immigration on U.S. Workers.” There are four witnesses testifying: Peter Kirsanow, United States Commission on Civil Rights Commissioner; Benjamin Johnson, American Immigration Lawyers Association Executive Director; David Kallick, Fiscal Policy Institute Senior Fellow; and Steven Camarota, Center for Immigration Studies Director of Research.

You can watch the hearing live here.

Thursday, March 17 at 10 a.m. EST

The House Appropriations Homeland Security Subcommittee is holding a budget hearing for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. ICE Director Sarah Saldana is the lone witness appearing.

You can watch the hearing live here.

***Additional Immigration Event on Capitol Hill***

The House of Representatives is expected to vote Thursday on a resolution authorizing the Speaker to file an amicus brief (friend of the court brief) on behalf of the full House in U.S. v. Texas, the 26 state lawsuit challenging President Obama’s executive amnesty programs.