Saturday, December 16, 2017
Politics

Sen. Marco Rubio pushes stronger English language requirement in immigration bill

WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio has talked a lot about adding more border security to the immigration bill, but his first proposed amendment seeks to toughen an English proficiency requirement.

The proposed Rubio amendment would strike a provision which stipulates that the English proficiency requirement can be met simply by being enrolled in a course, Rubio's office said.

The bill, S. 744, requires that "a registered provisional immigrant who is 16 years of age or older shall establish that he or she (i) meets the requirements set forth in section 312; or (ii) is satisfactorily pursuing a course of study, pursuant to standards established by the Secretary of Education, consultation with the Secretary, to achieve an understanding of English and knowledge and understanding of the history and Government of the United States, as described in section 312(a)."

So Rubio would remove section (ii).

"On the day we announced the principles that would shape the immigration bill, we made it clear that English proficiency would now be required for permanent residency for the first time in American history," Rubio said in a release. "This amendment ensures that will be the case.

"Since the bill was introduced two months ago, the open and transparent process it has undergone has elicited constructive criticisms to improve it. This is one of the bill's shortcomings that came to light, which we can now fix."

Rubio and Sen. Bill Nelson joined an 85-15 majority vote Tuesday to proceed with debate on the immigration bill.

The "cloture" vote is not indicative of the bill's chances but does provide a sign of momentum for backers. Republicans and some Democrats still want to see more border security measures. Sen. John Cornyn of Texas is getting the most attention for his proposed amendment that would make a pathway to citizenship contingent on border security goals set in the bill.

"My amendment demands results, while the Gang of Eight bill is satisfied with just more promises, promises that historically have never been kept," Cornyn said Tuesday.

Rubio, a member of the Gang of Eight, is working on a proposal to put a border security plan into the legislation, rather than have the Department of Homeland Security do the work. Rubio contends there isn't trust in the agency to do adequate security.

Rubio's office said Wednesday that the amendment is not yet ready. The Senate will spend the next several weeks on the bill, with leaders hoping for a vote before the July 4 vacation.

Comments
CDC gets list of forbidden words: ‘fetus,’ ‘transgender,’ ‘evidence-based’

CDC gets list of forbidden words: ‘fetus,’ ‘transgender,’ ‘evidence-based’

Trump administration officials are forbidding officials at the nation’s top public health agency from using a list of seven words or phrases - including "fetus" and "transgender" - in any official documents being prepared for next year’s budget.Polic...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Female congressional candidate leaves race after sexual harassment allegations resurface

Female congressional candidate leaves race after sexual harassment allegations resurface

A Democratic candidate hoping to flip a hotly contested congressional seat in Kansas has dropped out of the race after allegations that she sexually harassed a male subordinate resurfaced amid her campaign.Andrea Ramsey, 57, who was running to unseat...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Romano: Some bullies survive beyond the schoolyard

Romano: Some bullies survive beyond the schoolyard

Sometime soon, members of the Florida House will be asked to consider a potential solution for bullying in public schools. It’s a dubious idea based on the premise that students should flee their tormenter, and use voucher funds to attend a private s...
Published: 12/16/17
Highlights of GOP compromise bill to overhaul tax code

Highlights of GOP compromise bill to overhaul tax code

WASHINGTON — Republicans in Congress have blended separate tax bills passed by the House and Senate into compromise legislation that seeks to achieve a sweeping overhaul of the nation’s tax code. GOP leaders are looking toward passage of the final pa...
Updated: 6 hours ago
With Rubio, Corker back on board, GOP speeds ahead with tax plan

With Rubio, Corker back on board, GOP speeds ahead with tax plan

WASHINGTON — Republican lawmakers on Friday secured enough votes to pass the most sweeping tax overhaul in decades, putting them on the cusp of their first significant legislative victory this year as party leaders geared up to pass a $1.5 trillion t...
Published: 12/15/17
Experts chart path for Hillsborough to grow smarter before sprawl takes over

Experts chart path for Hillsborough to grow smarter before sprawl takes over

TAMPA — Nearly 600,000 more people will live in Hillsborough County by 2040, and if elected officials and county planners don’t take bold steps now, the population boom will turn the county into the soulless sprawl of Anywhere, U.S.A.That’s the messa...
Published: 12/15/17
Tillerson retreats on offer of unconditional N. Korea talks

Tillerson retreats on offer of unconditional N. Korea talks

WASHINGTON — America’s top diplomat stepped back Friday from his offer of unconditional talks with North Korea, telling world powers that the nuclear-armed nation must earn the right to negotiate with the United States. Secretary of State Rex Tillers...
Published: 12/15/17
Judge signals release of ex-Trump chair Paul Manafort to Florida home under curfew and GPS monitoring

Judge signals release of ex-Trump chair Paul Manafort to Florida home under curfew and GPS monitoring

A federal judge Friday said a bail package has been put together that would release former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort from home confinement in his condominium in Virginia and allow him to reside at his house in Palm Beach Gardens, but unde...
Published: 12/15/17
The meta-soap opera of Omarosa Manigault’s White House exit

The meta-soap opera of Omarosa Manigault’s White House exit

WASHINGTON — As the spooling drama of Omarosa Manigault Newman’s White House departure spun into its 36th hour, Washington began asking itself: "Does it actually matter whether Omarosa quit or was fired?"Dumbest story ever," tweeted John Harwood, the...
Published: 12/15/17
Know your candidates: Florida State House | District 58

Know your candidates: Florida State House | District 58

A hard-fought Republican primary ended with the nomination of Lawrence McClure in October during a whirlwind special election cycle to replace state Rep. Dan Raulerson, who is stepping down for health reasons. The GOP winner faces face three less wel...
Published: 12/14/17
Updated: 12/15/17