Isakson, Chambliss miss vote on immigration reform
by Jon Gillooly
June 25, 2013 12:00 AM | 3080 views | 10 10 comments | 28 28 recommendations | email to a friend | print
MARIETTA — Georgia senators Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson said flight delays caused by inclement weather forced them to miss a U.S. Senate vote on immigration reform, but had they made it to Washington, they would have voted against ending debate on the legislation.

Chambliss said in a press release issued late Monday that he regretted his flight delay prevented him from voting against ending debate on the bill.

“We all know our immigration system is broken and we need to fix it,” Chambliss said. “However, we should be having a full and open debate on solutions, not rushing to finish the bill before Sen. Reid’s artificial deadline. I have serious concerns with several provisions in the bill including border security, interior enforcement, and the program designed to address our agricultural labor workforce, and until those concerns are addressed I cannot support limiting debate.”

Isakson said in the same press release that he also regrets the missed vote, which he blamed on his first flight being canceled and second flight delayed by bad weather.

“Had I been here for the vote, I would have voted ‘no’ on this motion to end debate on this amendment,” Isakson said. “While I appreciate and applaud the vast improvements in the border security provisions, I feel there were still too many waivers and other loopholes that could have allowed green cards to be issued before our nation’s borders were truly secured.”

Sue Everhart of east Cobb, who stepped down in May after six years as chairwoman of the Georgia Republican Party, knows Chambliss and Isakson better than most. Everhart said she had no cause to doubt the reasons they gave for missing the vote.

“This could very easily be verified,” Everhart said. “I’ve never known either one of them to be men that lied, so I would say they told the truth.”

Everhart said she would like to see more debate on the immigration issue as well.

“We’ve got to do something to control this immigration, but the first thing we’ve got to do to me is control the borders, and of course I’m no longer chairman of the party, so whatever I say doesn’t mean anything, but there will be I’m sure some kind of road to citizenship for some people,” Everhart said.

The country has struggled with immigration problems since the 1930s, Everhart said.

“I wasn’t alive then, but Congress was warned to do something about it, and they let it fester for all these years, and it’s like anything,” Everhart said, using the example of what happens when she lets things pile up around her house and it gets out of hand.

“I think what’s happened to Congress is they’re worried about getting reelected rather than worry about addressing it until we’ve reached the point that nobody knows what to do,” Everhart said.

Rich Pellegrino of Austell, director of the Cobb Immigrant Alliance, wants to see the U.S. Senate pass the bill.

“We can’t let perfection be the enemy of good, and there are certainly things in the bill that to me are bloated — you know, money spent for border security etc., but generally, I think it’s a good framework to begin the process, so I want to see it advance as quick as possible so that the House can then decide what they’re going to do.”

The final version of the bill will end up in the House anyway, Pellegrino said.

“So I’m anxious for it to get to the House, and yes, definitely I want our senators, and I have spent time at their offices urging them to support this bipartisan effort not only because immigration but also the fact that this is the only major legislation that we can see in the near future where there is a chance for bipartisan cooperation, and to provide the example for Americans that we can work together on different sides of the aisles,” Pellegrino said.

Comments
(10)
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Linda in Acworth
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June 26, 2013
Why should they change do nothing ways now???

They have done absolutely nothing for he last five years!!!

HEY GEORGIA IT IS PAST TIME FOR A CHANGE
DesertChem
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June 26, 2013
I fly to and from the U.S. every month and I have learned to check weather conditions. I have rearranged flights and times in order to meet deadlines and I have NEVER missed an appointment in 11 years. I call BS on this. They got cold feet and took the cowards way out. Both congressmen know they support the immigration bill and know that their constituency hates it. Looking forward to a clean house when their terms are up.
Linda in Acworth
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June 25, 2013
Why should they change from DO NOTHING FOR THIS COUNTRY? Hey Georgia,TIME FIR A CHANGE>>>>>
Just Wait
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June 25, 2013
I believe that Saxby and Johnny forgot to thank the weather Gods for keeping them in Atlanta.
Mike Steele
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June 25, 2013
You bet! That sure got them off the hook. I'll be glad when both of them are gone. They've been fence straddling for years, because of the Savannah Habor Deepening bill. They need Demo votes, because Charleston, SC, is our biggest competitor and they are GOP as well.

Respectfully
Pat H
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June 25, 2013
Chambliss and Isakson do lie indeed. They insisted they did not vote in favor of the 2007 amnesty when they helped craft the bill, their staffers admitted that they also helped write it and there was a picture of McCain, Kennedy, Isakson and Chambliss all with a big smile when the bill was finalized.

Yes, the cowards of their own convictions and loyalty to big business, developers and Chamber of Commerce eventually voted no, but only because of the uproar from citizens.

And foolish Republicans, including Ms. Everhart, voted them back in office. Chambliss is a lame duck and the US citizens are dead ducks because he does not plan to run again.

Why were all others able to make it for the vote? Their absences cannot be considered coincidental, they probably had enough votes so they let the others take the heat.
Pellegrino joke
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June 25, 2013
Pellegrino thinks the money designated for border control is bloated? Really? That is why we have so many illegals is due to lack of border security. How about we stop sending US dollars to countries that treat us like dirt and put up a fence along the entire border of Mexico and the US?
Why????
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June 25, 2013
Weren't they in Washington doing their jobs in the first place??? There are two classes of people of in this country, Congress and everybody else.
Jorr
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June 25, 2013
I believe in the mighty hand of God

on the climatic conditions in this case

God knows what best for everyone

God knows what is just and what is right

Thanks lord again
Jorr
|
June 25, 2013
I believe in the mighty hand of God

on the climatic conditions in this case

God knows what best for everyone

God knows what is just and right

Thanks lord again
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