A Colombian immigrant takes her oral citizenship test at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services office in New York. Photo by John Moore/Getty Images
Funny thing about numbers. You often use them to bolster your argument, and dismiss them if they don’t.
Consider the Congressional Budget Office report out Tuesday regarding the immigration legislation up for debate on the Senate floor.
Supporters of the comprehensive bill that would overhaul the nation’s current system on Tuesday night embraced a new report from the Congressional Budget Office and Joint Committee on Taxation estimating the effects of the plan.
Specifically, the CBO found that the measure would reduce the deficit by $197 billion over the next decade and $700 billion in the next 20 years. And 8 million of the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States could find themselves on the pathway to citizenship.
Members of the bipartisan “Gang of Eight” senators who drafted the legislation cited the report on the Senate floor, and White House Press Secretary Jay Carney hailed the “proof” found in the nonpartisan estimate.
“The Congressional Budget Office also made clear that passage of the immigration bill would not only reduce the deficit, it would increase economic growth for years to come,” Carney said. “By fixing our broken immigration system — and making sure that every worker in America is playing by the same set of rules and paying taxes like everyone else — we can grow the economy, strengthen the middle class, improve our fiscal outlook and create new opportunity for Americans everywhere.”
Of course, lawmakers and the White House frequently deride CBO estimates, when they don’t point to a conclusion they are trying to prove. The important thing to keep in mind is that these reports are indeed estimates. They get plenty of headlines, but don’t always pan out mathematically.
The CBO report came shortly after Speaker John Boehner made clear he wouldn’t violate what’s become known as the “Hastert Rule.” That means the Ohio Republican won’t ask members of his party to cast a vote on something the majority of them don’t support.
Boehner told reporters that he will discuss immigration legislation in “a special conference” with his Republican members on July 10 after the holiday recess. Then he added a statement that champions of the Senate measure said they found disturbing for overall prospects of the legislation:
I also suggested to our members today that any immigration reform bill that is going to go into law ought to have a majority of both parties’ support if we’re really serious about making that happen. And so I don’t see any way of bringing an immigration bill to the floor that doesn’t have a majority support of Republicans. But I just think the White House and Senate Democrats ought to get very serious.
Roll Call’s Steven Dennis and Emma Dumain frame the comments as the speaker attempting to cut off a “budding revolt.”
His remark seemed just shy of a vow to stick to the Hastert rule. He also did not answer a question on whether he would require a majority of the majority on a final conference report on an immigration bill. (A GOP aide later clarified that Boehner’s remarks did apply to a conference report as well.)
And Politico succinctly explains the political pressure on Boehner, and why the Hastert Rule matters on just about everything Congress is trying to get done.
Boehner spoke before the House Judiciary Committee late Tuesday approved an enforcement-only measure over the objections of Democrats.
Yahoo News’ Chris Moody, meanwhile, reports that House Republicans this summer “are planning a series of meetings with Hispanic-Americans in the nation’s capital as part of a partywide effort to woo minority voters.”
On the NewsHour, Ray Suarez reported on the House hearing and the latest votes on the Senate floor. Lawmakers who back the overall bill are sticking together to defeat bills that would require strengthened border security before a pathway to citizenship could be implemented. Then he interviewed Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., as part of our one-on-one discussions about the measure.
What does Paul make of Boehner’s announcement?
“I think that means the bill that will come up be a much stronger and better bill,” Paul said. He said it “gives leverage” to conservatives who want to see the legislation shaped with their ideals in mind.
“And this is coming from somebody who wants immigration reform. I think the system is horribly broken. If we do nothing, it’s a big mistake,” Paul said.
“So, I want to see immigration reform, but I want it to obey a rule of law with a secure border, with securing that the vote only goes to citizens, and that welfare only goes to citizens. If all these things are taken care of, I think both parties could get behind a bill like this.”
Watch here or below:
And you can learn more and keep track of the legislation on our Immigration page.
- President Barack Obama again defended the National Security Agency’s surveillance and data collections programs Wednesday at a press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin. He said at least 50 threats to the U.S. and other countries have been averted because of the programs.
- The U.S. House voted 228-196 Tuesday in favor of prohibiting abortions after a fetus reaches 20 weeks, a measure that would be one of the most restrictive abortion rules in 10 years. The bill has no chance of passage in the Democratic-controlled Senate.
- Texas’ Senate also approved a bill that would restrict abortions within the state, although the legislation didn’t include the most controversial 20-week measure. It has yet to go to the state House for a committee hearing.
- Roll Call’s Meredith Shiner scoops: “Sen. Barbara Boxer of California is privately lobbying fellow Democrats on the Environment and Public Works Committee against a toxic chemical bill negotiated by Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg in the weeks before his death.”
- Mr. Obama is “politically estranged” from more than a quarter of the country’s 50 states, New York Times’ John Harwood writes.
- Here’s the latest in the tea party/IRS scandal.
- In Tuesday night’s Massachusetts special senate election debate, Republican Gabriel Gomez said he told Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., he should leave the Senate when the elder statesman campaigned for Gomez last week. But Democratic Rep. Ed Markey challenged the veracity of that statement, questioning Gomez’s commitment to term limits.
- A recent poll in the 2013 race for the open Boston mayoral seat shows more than a third of the electorate is undecided.
- Alaska Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell, a Republican, officially will enter the race to challenge Democratic Sen. Mark Begich in 2014. Begich currently holds almost a 10-point lead in polls but is one of the most vulnerable incumbents on the ballot next year.
- Say goodbye to seeing single-use plastic bags in grocery and convenience stores, Los Angeles. The City Council voted to ban them Tuesday.
- Outgoing Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa says he’d like to run for California’s governor’s seat. He didn’t mention a timeframe.
- Montana’s “Draft Brian Schweitzer for U.S. Senate” group has begun to meet. Liberals want the popular Democratic former governor to run in the 2014 election. Conservative Democratic Sen. Max Baucus is retiring.
- And Baucus ponied up, sort of, to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.
- The sequester is hurting summer tourism, Digital First Media reports.
- The New York Times’ Charlie Savage and Michael Schmidt reveal through document deep dives how the FBI has justified each time an agent has shot a person. Their investigation follows the murky shooting of a man in Florida as the FBI questioned him about the Boston marathon bombing suspects.
- Journalist Michael Hastings, whose 2010 Rolling Stone piece on Stanley McChrystal prompted the general’s eventual resignation, died in a car crash at age 33. BuzzFeed Editor Ben Smith reflects on his colleague’s life. Here’s Hastings’ advice for aspiring journalists.
- Treasury Secretary Jack Lew’s signature no longer resembles the icing on a cupcake, BuzzFeed decides.
- A former State Department reporter launched an online television show focused on diplomacy.
- Shira Toeplitz of Roll Call looks ahead to the different scenarios for the Supreme Court’s ruling on the Voting Rights Act.
- WUNC’s The Story [featured](http://www.thestory.org/stories/2013-06/voting-rights-act-1965) two people’s tales of 1965 and the passage of the monumental Voting Rights Act. The segment riffs on [a NewsHour online [project called the Oral History Hotline](http://www.pbs.org/newshour/multimedia/voting-rights/) that has collected memories from when the law passed. We plan to add more stories this week, as Supreme Court watchers anticipate a ruling in the case that challenges the Act’s preclearance clause.
- The Supreme Court has little more than a week left in its term, and still more than a dozen pending decisions. We’re watching a few major topics that have yet to see the justices’ opinions: affirmative action in higher education, the Voting Rights Act section 5, and California’s Proposition 8 and the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which both involve same-sex marriage.
- On decision days, the NewsHour homepage will host SCOTUSblog’s live coverage beginning at 10 a.m. For more in-depth Supreme Court coverage of the 2012-2013 term, visit our page.
- Gwen Ifill will do a Reddit Ask Me Anything Thursday. Don’t miss it!
- As Afghan forces took over control of their country, we examined challenges ahead for the war-torn country.
- Ever wonder how to woo a cicada? Jenny Marder explains.
- Check out these amazing photos of Saturn.
- Securing a job, headhunter Nick Corcodilos writes on our Making Sen$e page, is not about looking for a job opening. It’s about making connections where you want to work.
— Rick Klein (@rickklein) June 19, 2013
— Susan Davis (@DaviSusan) June 19, 2013
I changed my avatar because I’m a Democrat who supports equality and the repeal of #DOMA.
— D Wasserman Schultz (@DWStweets) June 19, 2013
Yes, that’s birthday boy @jeffmason1 asking Angela Merkel a question in German
— Josh Lederman (@joshledermanAP) June 19, 2013
— Brianna Keilar (@brikeilarcnn) June 19, 2013
— msnbc (@msnbc) June 19, 2013
Simone Pathe contributed to this report.
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