Meet Amanda Carpenter!

Mary Katharine Ham
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Posted: May 22, 2007 8:15 AM

The newest member of the Townhall team makes her debut today with a story on the serious costs of rushing immigration reform:

“They never contribute more than they take out and at retirement theybecome very costly,” Rector said in Capitol Hill press conference onMonday with Sessions, Sen. Jim Bunning (R.-Ky.) and Rep. Bill Bilbray(R.-Calif.).

Rector explained, “Every person that gets the Z visa, and that would beabout 12 million people, 9 million of which are adults--is immediatelyeligible for Social Security. They start to contribute to that system.They start to earn eligibility for Medicare. The White House hasclaimed they don’t get welfare benefits. That is absolutely untrue. Forthe first 10 years or so they are in the country, the adults would notget welfare benefits, but the children would. They are going to be herefor fifty years. For the first 10 years they don’t get means testedwelfare, but for the next forty they are going to be eligible for everysingle type of means tested welfare.”

Rector said it would cost the government $2.4 trillion to payout these benefits to z visa holders. He characterized the bill as an“amnesty bill with a blank check on the U.S. taxpayer.” Entitlementprograms, like Social Security and Medicare programs, are already onpace to go bankrupt due to the exploding costs of retiringbaby-boomers. Rector said adding the additional retirement costs of alow-skilled population to these programs would be a “financialcatastrophe.”

We're very excited to have her around, so go leave her a welcome comment if you get a chance. She's a former Human Events reporter who has the unique qualification of being both young and seasoned. She'll be bringing you great reporting from the Hill, so stay tuned.

As you may have heard last night, the bill will not be as rushed as we had thought, so Members will be going home to an earful from constituents:

This country deserves it," Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.,said of the delay. He had previously set a Memorial Day deadline for passage.

The issue carries heavy political consequences for both parties. It's a top priority for Bush, who considers it a defining element of his legacy, and for congressional Democrats who are eager to count it as one of their accomplishments at the helm of Congress.

The measure, which also tightens border security and workplace enforcement measures, unites a group of influential Senate liberals, centrists and conservatives, but it has drawn criticism from across the political spectrum.

"This is not going to go anywhere unless we have a full and thorough debate of at least two weeks," said Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader.

The Senate will debate the deal this week and return to it after a weeklong holiday break.
Apparently, the uproar was "unexpected," which makes me wonder exactly how oblivious our senators actually are. I asked Amanda to make that her next investigative piece, but she told she'd be Bob Novak's age before she could calculate that amount of cluelessness.