Tea Party Patriots Weekly Report from Washington for 08/23/15
The House and Senate are both out of town for their August district work period, and will stand in recess until Tuesday, September 8.
So much has happened on the Clinton email front over the last two weeks it’s hard to know where to start. So let me just tell you where we are now:
Hillary’s email server has been turned over to the FBI. The FBI has also taken possession of the thumb drive held by Clinton lawyer David Kendall, the thumb drive that contains copies of all the emails she forwarded to the State Department – hundreds of which, it now appears, contained classified information, despite her earlier vow that no classified information was ever sent over her unclassified, unsecured server. Two of Hillary’s aides at the State Department – Huma Abedin and Philippe Reines – will testify the first week of September in front of the House Select Committee on Benghazi. And NBC News reports that the FBI is confident it can recover at least some of the data from the server.
Well, Donald Trump released a major immigration reform plan two weeks ago. The plan was drafted with the assistance of Sen. Jeff Sessions, and, not surprisingly, it adopts the Sessions point of view on immigration – that is, it asserts as a fundamental premise that ALL immigration, not just illegal immigration, needs to be put on hold – a “breathing spell,” if you will – to allow time for the tens of millions of people who have immigrated to the U.S. over the last three decades to assimilate properly.
At the heart of Trump’s plan is a proposal to end birthright citizenship. For anyone who’s been at the beach for the last few weeks, or living under a rock for the last several years, birthright citizenship is the simple notion that every baby born in the United States is, by law, a U.S. citizen. These babies then become the legal justification for their illegal immigrant parents to remain in the U.S., because no one wants to split a family by deporting the illegal immigrant parents of a U.S. citizen.
According to Trump’s figures, roughly 7.5 percent of all the babies born in the U.S. every year are born to illegal immigrants – that’s about 300,000 babies every year.
Those who support the notion of birthright citizenship cite as their justification the 14th Amendment to the Constitution, the relevant section of which reads in whole: “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.”
Again, not surprisingly, the Establishments of both parties went crazy-go-nuts. Some insisted that ending birthright citizenship would require a constitutional amendment; others insisted that, at the very least, it would require an act of Congress. But some very smart people have looked at this, and it appears to me that a very strong case can be made that neither a new constitutional amendment nor a new law would be necessary; what would be necessary is a simple decision by the Executive to instruct the Office of Citizenship and Immigration Services to no longer recognize as citizens babies born in the U.S. to parents who had no legal right to be here.
The key is the second clause of the relevant sentence in the 14th Amendment, because it’s joined to the first clause by the conjunction “and,” which means BOTH conditions must inhere in order for the subsequent clause to be operative. That is, a person must be either born or naturalized in the United States AND BE SUBJECT TO THE JURISDICTION THEREOF.
And what does that second clause really mean? Does it mean that if a legal foreign visitor rented a car in the District of Columbia, he would be bound to follow DC traffic law? Of course he would, but that’s not what is meant by this language. What is meant by “subject to the jurisdiction thereof” is that one “owes allegiance to” the U.S. Government, and recognizes that allegiance.
So a legal foreign visitor, a citizen of another nation, would not have his or her children automatically become U.S. citizens just because the mother happened to give birth while they were on vacation here. And if a LEGAL foreign visitor wouldn’t have his or her infant born in the U.S. automatically be granted U.S. citizenship, why in the world would anyone think that a baby born to an ILLEGAL foreign visitor – which is what an illegal immigrant is, a citizen of another nation here illegally – would be granted U.S. citizenship automatically?
Both Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio – each of whom is, coincidentally, the child of at least one legal immigrant – joined Trump in calling for an end to birthright citizenship. Jeb!, of course, who is married to a legal immigrant, opposes an end to birthright citizenship. Many of the other GOP presidential candidates are still on the fence, trying to figure out which is the smart political stance to take.
Since we had our last Washington Report, two key Democrat Senators – Chuck Schumer of New York, and Bob Menendez of New Jersey – have announced their opposition to the Iran deal. But we still need 11 more Democrats to oppose the deal in order to reach a veto-proof majority, and we haven’t heard of any more Democrats breaking our way.
Getting Democrats to come out against the deal MAY become a LITTLE easier in the coming weeks, thanks to some news that broke last week. Last Wednesday, the Associated Press reported that in a side deal between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Iran would be allowed to police itself when it came to inspecting the Parchin nuclear facility. For a day, there was back and forth over whether the story was based on an outdated draft version of the agreement, but by Thursday, it was clear – the IAEA and Iran have agreed to let Iran conduct the tests necessary to show what, if anything, they were doing at the Parchin facility more than a decade ago.
Some supporters of the deal have attempted to downplay the significance of the side deal by arguing that it has nothing to do with tests going forward, it only applies to the tests to be undertaken at the Parchin facility, and it only applies to trying to find out what Iran was up to back in 2002 and thereabouts. Both of those statements are true, and both of those statements are irrelevant. We can’t judge properly where Iran is in its attempts to develop a nuclear weapons capability if we don’t know where they were – that is, we need to know where they were a decade ago as a baseline. And allowing Iran to conduct the so-called “tests” is the international equivalent of letting the fox guard the hen house.
Last Tuesday, Governor Scott Walker introduced his own ObamaCare repeal and replace plan. And here’s the excerpt from Politico Playbook’s coverage of his announcement:
“To motivate Members of Congress to pass our reforms, I will require them to live under the same ObamaCare rules that have been forced on the rest of America. … [O]n Day One, I will sign an executive order removing President Obama’s special deal for Congress. Having to live with the same premium increases that other Americans have suffered under ObamaCare should light a fire under Congress to act quickly.”
So, how is it that Governor Walker decided to smack Congress for taking a bribe from President Obama in the form of an illegal congressional exemption? Ten days before giving the speech, the Governor was in Atlanta for the RedState gathering. He figured as long as he was in the area, he would take advantage of the opportunity to meet with Jenny Beth, so he reached out and asked for a meeting. Jenny Beth gave up half of her Saturday with her kids to go into Atlanta, and when she met with him, she pressed him on the illegal exemption. He got it immediately, and decided to make it a part of his push. And we’re glad he did. Getting rid of the illegal congressional exemption is one of the Yellow Card issues, and it’s there because it’s one of the keys to actually repealing ObamaCare.
So as he was giving his speech, TPPCF began tweeting to the other candidates, challenging them publicly– pointing out that Walker had joined Sen. Ted Cruz as the only two candidates who have expressed their determination to overturn the congressional exemption, and where are they? And we’ll continue that Twitter campaign until each candidate takes the right position, and we’d like you to tweet them yourself and retweet other tweets you see on the subject. If you’re not already following us, you can follow TPPCF at @TPPCitizensFund, and Jenny Beth at @JennyBethM, and TPP at @TPPatriots, and you can follow me at @wpascoe.
Missouri Democrat Claire McCaskill recently excerpted an episode from her new memoir, “Plenty Ladylike: A Memoir,” in Politico Magazine. In the excerpt, she explains how she spent campaign resources in 2012 – and possibly broke the law, by gifting to another campaign something of value greater than $5,000 – in what turned out to be a successful attempt to engineer the GOP nomination contest so that she got the opponent she wanted, Todd Akin. This is not the first time a Democrat has interfered in a GOP nominating contest to try to engineer victory for what the Democrat perceived to be the weakest GOP candidate – Gray Davis did the same thing in the 2002 GOP primary for Governor in California – but it may be the first time a sitting U.S. Senator has acknowledged committing what may be a felony in such an endeavor. So I’ve put her Politico Magazine piece in the suggested reading, and I commend it to your attention.
TEA PARTY PATRIOTS/JENNY BETH MARTIN:
PLANNED PARENTHOOD FUNDING: