Everyone’s talking about the immigration bill, as well they should be. It sounds like a complete train wreck to me, and to many others.
I always want to judge for myself though, and so I’m keeping a watch out for when the actual text of the bill becomes available online — which I hear might be sometime today. The government printing office has, however, provided hard copies to Senate offices for their review.
So until all us lowly citizens can actually read the thing, I present you with the photo below, taken by a friendly staffer, which provides a nice visual aid to the size and scope of the monstrosity:
Yes, that’s the Bible next to the bill, and yes, the bill is bigger than it. The copy shown is about 400 pages, although I’m told that the final version will balloon up to near 1000 pages once it is printed in the “official” format.
Do you think maybe we might want to take more than a day or so to quickly skim through this thing? Just a thought. As my staffer friend quipped, “The immigration bill is bigger than the Bible, and we’ve had a few thousand years to read through that.”
Stay tuned for more updates, including (hopefully) the full text of the bill…
Update: To be clear, this is not being declared the “final” text of the bill, but it is the current draft. To quote my source again, “we probably won’t get final text until after we vote on the stupid thing.”
Your democracy at work!
Update Friday p.m.: So I’ve spent a decent chunk of time today observing the reactions to the immigration deal, and I’ve come to a conclusion: this parrot is dead.
Dead, dead dead. An ex-parrot. It has, indeed, ceased to be.
The grand immigration “deal” is going absolutely nowhere. Why? A few data points.
One: The Republican base hates it. Hates hates hates it.
Two: Harry Reid (yes, that Harry Reid) is lukewarm at best. Check this out, via RedState:
Thursday, May 17, 2007
WASHINGTON, D.C.—Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada issued the following statement in response to the bipartisan agreement on immigration reform:
“I applaud the hard work of the bipartisan group of Senators who have proposed a new approach to comprehensive immigration reform. Their agreement can serve as a starting point for the Senate debate next week. I have serious concerns about some aspects of this proposal, including the structure of the temporary worker program and undue limitations on family immigration. We need to improve the bill as it moves through the legislative process.
Say whaa? The Senate Majority leader has “serious concerns”? Kinda a stumbling block for a grand compromise, isn’t it?
Three: The prospects in the House aren’t all that bright either:
Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., acknowledging deep divisions on immigration among Democrats, says she won’t bring it up unless President Bush can guarantee he will produce 70 Republican backers—a tall order given GOP concerns that the bill is too lenient.
Four: The bill text isn’t even done yet. As I stated earlier, the lovely copy in the photo above is just a draft — final language is still being hammered out (somewhere, by someone). That tells me that there are still huge opportunities for the grand bargain to collapse as the dirty details of the language are nailed down.
Does this mean that everyone should relax? No, it means everyone should call their Senators with renewed vigor, because this thing actually can be stopped. So get to it!