Monday, April 15, 2013

Rubio on the Sunday Shows -- DId He Tell Us Anything Much About the Gang of Eight Proposals?

Gang of Eight member Marco Rubio hit the talk show circuit yesterday. On Meet the Press, and Face the nation, the hosts wanted to talk gun control, despite what Rubio might have wanted to talk about. In Candy Crowley's program, Rubio sort of filibustered his way through without saying much that would address the opponents questions. Only on Fox News Sunday was Rubio given a chance to extend his remarks beyond generalities and pressed to do so. And, at that show, Rubio did get at questions posed by Gang critic Chuck Grassley:

Will the bill ensure that undocumented immigrants don't get public benefits?
Marco Rubio: And then they don't qualify for any federal benefits. This is an important point. No federal benefits, no food stamps, no welfare, no ObamaCare. They have to prove they're gainfully employed. They have to be able to support themselves, so they'll never become a public charge. (Fox News Sunday)
What is the expected cost? How will it be paid for?
Marco Rubio: Now, here's the other point I would make. Any -- you know, conservatives love dynamic scoring, which is a complicated way of saying, you know, you look at a budget issue, not just for the cost but for the benefits associated with it. That's what we've always pushed for. That's why, for example, when we talk about tax cuts, we don't think tax cuts cost the government money. We think tax cuts help the government generate more revenue because it creates economic growth.
All I'm asking for is that for this plan to be reviewed through the same standard, the same conservative dynamic scoring that we apply to tax cuts, because I am confident that if you do that, and some have already started doing that, you will find that when with we reform our legal immigration system, we get these people that are already here now paying their taxes and not taking anything out of the system, this will be a net positive for the country (Fox News Sunday)

The following Grassley questions were not answered by Rubio:

Will the bill move us closer to a merit-based system?
Will the bill be an avenue for labor unions to push Davis Bacon?
What are the concrete metrics used to measure border security? Who will determine that these metrics are met? Will it be Congress, a commission or a Secretary who doesn't think that the border matters?
Will the entry/exit system Congress mandated in 1996 finally be implemented? Will it be a part of the trigger?
Will the language be tight enough to prevent criminals--those with DUIs and other aggravated felonies from being eligible for legalization?
Will individuals already apprehended, or people in removal proceedings be eligible or even allowed to apply for the legalization program?
Will the bill ensure that the legalization program is covered by beneficiaries, and not taxpayers?
What will happen to individuals who do not come forward and register or get provisional status?
What will happen if the border is never secured? What will be the consequences, including for those who have already received registered provisional status?
Will the agency in charge of immigration benefits be able to handle the additional workload while also preventing fraud and abuse?
Will the bill encourage cooperation between the Federal Government and State and locals to enforce the laws?
How will the bill ensure that ICE agents are allowed to do their job?
Will E-Verify be mandatory for all businesses? Will there be exceptions to the rule? Will the bill require all businesses to use E-Verify now or will it drag out the requirement even though it is ready to go nationwide? Will the bill exempt or preserve State laws that require E-Verify?
What are the concessions to the unions and to the business community?
Will the new temporary worker program, which is a new model encompassing instant portability, truly work?
How will employers be held responsible for the visa holders, if at all? Is the new temporary worker program truly temporary? Will they get a special green card process?
Will the bill exempt certain industries, such as construction, from this new visa program?
Will the 11 million people here illegally get priority in this new temporary worker program? Will they be able to use it?
Will the bill require employers to first recruit and hire Americans?

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