Monday, July 31, 2006

More Hearings, More Stalling, Say Democrats

They argue that House Republicans are using their new set of sessions on immigration to put off talks with the Senate and help reelection bids.


WASHINGTON — When Republican House leaders announced a new round of nationwide immigration hearings last week, it triggered a wave of eye-rolling among Democrats and immigrant advocates.

Critics see the hearings, which began almost a month ago, as GOP-produced political theater — a diversion from hunkering down for talks with the Senate on rewriting immigration policy.

The sessions have featured some posturing, snarky exchanges and odd scenes, such as Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) assembling a self-made wooden model of the 13.5-foot-high concrete wall he would like to see built along the U.S.-Mexico border....


House Republicans continue to bet that their push for enforcement-only legislation is more appealing to voters than the Senate formula, which would combine bolstered border security with a guest worker program and a path to citizenship for most illegal immigrants in the U.S.

Reflecting that belief, the upcoming House hearings are scheduled not only in states struggling with illegal immigration, such as California, but in states such as Indiana, where several Republican House members are struggling to get reelected....

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