The Buzz

TheChat: Tim Huelskamp backs immigration bill that won’t matter


Thank goodness it’s Friday.

▪ “While I voted for this bill, it is going nowhere fast.” — Kansas Congressman Tim Huelskamp, a Republican, on his support for the “Preventing Executive Overreach on Immigration Act,” aimed at protesting President Barack Obama’s executive order on immigration.

The bill cleared the House Thursday on a 219-197 vote that was largely along party lines. But here’s the bottom line, which Huelskamp acknowledged: The measure can’t reverse what the president has done.

▪ “The region itself has 22 percent of the state’s population, but we account for 50 percent of the traffic tickets and fines that are issued.” — Missouri state Sen. Eric Schmitt, a St. Louis County Republican, talking about the St. Lois area and his bill that would allow only 10 percent of a city’s budget to be derived from traffic fines. The law allows 30 percent.

Schmitt says the problem is so severe that debtor prisons have actually sprung up because so many people are in hoc over traffic fines. But a Star editorial questions whether a one-size-fits-all approach is really best.

▪ “We stand a significantly better chance of accomplishing the goal of reversing the course the president’s on when we’re in the majority.” — Kansas Sen. Jerry Moran, a Republican, pushing the idea of delaying action on Obama’s immigration stance until next year.

That position is contrary to Texas Sen. Ted Cruz’s idea of more immediate action, which includes a possible government shutdown. Cruz again has set up a showdown between congressional conservatives and other Republicans over how to proceed, which again places the GOP in a difficult position.

▪ “Unfortunately in recent days,” there have been reminders of the “deep unfairness when it comes to the gap between our professed ideals and how laws are applied on a day-to-day basis.” — Obama on the recent police killings in Ferguson and New York.

The president said he intends to remain focused on policing, but also to look at broader concerns that deal with education and social justice.