Sen. Tom Cotton Calls Out Dems, GOP on Immigration Bill

Senator Tom Cotton Senate Armed Services hearing on Counter ISIL Operations, Washington DC, America - 28 Apr 2016 (Rex Features via AP Images)

Sen. Tom Cotton wasn’t pulling any punches when he took the podium in the Senate on Thursday. For one, he blasted the argument that the immigration bill was “bipartisan” just because some Republicans had shifted their positions:


Said Cotton:

Abraham Lincoln said if you call a dog’s tail a leg, how many legs does a dog have, five? No, it has four. Because calling something doesn’t make it that, … In the same way you can call a bill bipartisan because there are some Republicans on that bill, and if the Republicans have simply acquiesced to the Democrats’ position, it’s a Democratic bill. Calling it bipartisan doesn’t make it so.

He then took aim at a change in the bill creating a window where illegals could still enter the country and be covered by the law:

You might call it the “olly-olly-oxen-free position.” Because it declares to anyone, worldwide, if you get to the United States in the next four months before, June 30, 2018, olly-olly-oxen free, the Department of Homeland Security will not enforce our laws against you.

Cotton is absolutely correct, particularly about the claims of bipartisanship. It’s not bipartisan if a few people with an “R” after their name decide to side with the Democratic position. A bipartisan bill is one both parties work on and work toward, each compromising a bit to make something that both sides can at least grudgingly accept.


With a truly bipartisan bill, no one really gets to claim victory except — maybe — the American people.

In this case, however, the ground being given clearly appears to be GOP ground. That’s not bipartisanship, that’s surrender. I’m pretty sure a lot of Republican voters are now wondering why they voted for these people.


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