‘Blue-Slipping’ The Senate Immigration Bill? Stockman Suggests It

From a press release out of the office of Rep. Steve Stockman (R-TX) comes something interesting about that amnesty bill that got passed this week – namely, that Stockman thinks a mechanism exists to make that bill go away very quickly…

WASHINGTON — Congressman Steve Stockman Thursday sent a letter to House Speaker John Boehner requesting he immediately kill the Senate’s amnesty bill, S. 774 through a constitutionally-required “blue slip” resolution.

“Not only is the Senate amnesty bill an abuse of taxpayers and immigrants, it’s utterly unconstitutional. The Senate cannot invent its own amnesty taxes,” said Stockman. “I hope Speaker Boehner will immediately kill the amnesty bill through a constitutionally-required blue slip. As long as the amnesty bill sits in the House it poses a threat to taxpayers and immigrants.”

Several provisions of the Senate amnesty bill create new taxes, a violation of the “origination clause,” Article I, Section 7, Clause 1 of the United States Constitution, which states “All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments as on other Bills.”

A “blue slip” is a resolution that automatically returns to the Senate any bill that violates the origination clause of the United States Constitution.

Blue slip resolutions are immediately considered as a matter of constitutional privilege, are debatable for an hour and are not subject to amendment.

Section 2102 of the amnesty bill requires the payment of certain taxes and forgives the payment of other taxes as a condition of receiving amnesty and other benefits. The Constitution prohibits the Senate from approving bills that raise revenue.

Stockman also points to the Congressional Budget Office, which flatly states “enacting S. 744 would have a wide range of effects on federal revenues, including changes in collections of income and payroll taxes, certain visa fees that are classified as revenues, and various fines and penalties. Taken together, those effects would increase revenues by $459 billion over the 2014-2023 period.”

Stockman’s letter to Boehner follows.

June 27, 2013

Honorable John Boehner
Speaker of the House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20515

Dear Mr. Speaker,

When the House of Representatives receives S. 744, I hereby request that you raise a point of order that the legislation violates the origination clause of the United States Constitution; that “all Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives.”

Although there are other provisions in the bill which are in violation of the prerogatives of the House, the most obvious is section 2102 which requires the payment of certain taxes and forgives the payment of other taxes as a condition of receiving benefits under this legislation.

The Congressional Budget Office analysis of S. 744, dated June 18, 2013, on page 44 states in part that “enacting S. 744 would have a wide range of effects on federal revenues, including changes in collections of income and payroll taxes, certain visa fees that are classified as revenues, and various fines and penalties. Taken together, those effects would increase revenues by $459 billion over the 2014-2023 period, according to estimates by JCT and CBO.”

Therefore, I urge you to protect the origination clause and the intent of the Constitution by using the ‘blue slip’ to return S. 744 to the Senate.

I am grateful for your service to our nation in upholding the Constitution.

Warmest Regards,

Steve Stockman



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