Sen. Vitter: Corker/Hoeven Amendment on Border Security Only ‘Hoopla’

By Curtis Houck | June 21, 2013 | 11:24am EDT

Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) (AP Photo)

( – Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) described a proposed amendment to the bipartisan "Gang of Eight" immigration bill as only "a lot of hoopla about border security" so that the full bill can be passed "without reading the amendment."

Vitter said the plan for the Senate bill is "to bring up this Corker/Hoeven amendment, very, very quickly, have a lot of hoopla about border security, and try to pass it then with that amendment over 60 votes. Again, I think it's important that we look at the details of the amendment. Let's actually read it before we vote on it. … It doesn't truly fix the main problem."

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Vitter was joined Thursday afternoon by Sens. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), and Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), as well as Tea Party Patriots activists.

"Because all they guarantee is inputs, basically spending money, there is no measurement of success, of results, of actually securing the border, and they have rejected our having any verifiable measurement of actually securing the border," he said.

The amendment, proposed by Sens. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) and John Hoeven (R-N.D.), would seek to alleviate Republican concerns about a lack of border security in the Senate bill.

The Washington Examiner reported Thursday that the main component of the bill would be doubling the number of Border Patrol agents to 40,000 from 20,000.

It would also increase the amount of border fencing to 700 miles and "require a detailed comprehensive south border security plan including high-tech protections," according to NBC News.

At the same news conference, Sessions accused "Gang of Eight" members of having the bill written by special interests.

"Special interests wrote this bill. They wrote it in secret. They produced it to the floor, with all kinds of promotional activities, plans, and agendas, to move it forward to final passage," Sessions said.

He said that three things "will happen with this bill: It will be amnesty first so that amnesty will occur.” Also, “wages will be reduced,” and “unemployment will go up.”

"This is not the kind of well thought out policy that serves the interests of the American people," Sessions said.

"This bill, and the promises surrounding it, are full of hollow and ultimately illusory assertions," Lee said.

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