Monday, May 22, 2006

About those felony provisions in HR 4437...

What exactly was the White House's role in the insertion of felony provisions in ? Froomkin spotlights the issue today, based on an AP story from last week that was not widely picked up on... :
"Another good example of the White House apparently working at cross purposes with itself came last week in a story seriously underreported by the major media.

Bush has lately been distancing himself from a House Republican approach to immigration that, for instance, would make being in this country without documentation a felony.

But Frederic J. Frommer wrote for the Associated Press that powerful House Judiciary Committee Chairman F. James Sensenbrenner Jr. (R-Wis.) told reporters in a conference call last week that it was the White House itself that asked for those felony provisions to be inserted into the bill in the first place.

Sensenbrenner was angry with Bush. 'He basically turned his back on provisions of the House-passed bill, a lot of which we were requested to put in the bill by the White House,' Sensenbrenner said.

So, assuming Sensenbrenner wasn't making that up: Precisely who in the White House requested those provisions? How high up did it go? What happened in the interim?"
Yeah, that's an interesting angle that has absolutely been overlooked. The assumption has been that it's all hung on the House Republicans to date. That the White House was responsible in the first place, this I missed. My focus, when reading that article, was on Sensenbrenner's comment that had dissed House Republicans when he had met with them early last week. I'm sure Rove was quite happy to have had the focus on him, as it turned people's attention away from this significant information from Sensenbrenner on White House involvement in HR 4437's controversial provisions...