Jeff Flake Voted for Tax Bill Only After Promise of Amnesty for DACA Illegal Aliens
In a statement, first covered by the Washington Post, Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ) announced he voted for the recent Senate Republican tax bill only after getting a promise from GOP leadership that they would support his desire to see amnesty provided for illegal aliens protected under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).
It is priorities like this that caused Republicans in Arizona to run away from the Senator, leading to his decision not to seek re-election in 2018.
Flake had initially been against the tax-bill but changed his mind after obtaining assurances, presumably from Mitch McConnell, that if he voted in favor of the bill, he would be backed later on by leadership with a plan to protect the hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens who have been shielded from deportation by the President Obama-created DACA program, simply because they were brought here as children.
The Washington Post reported the story:
Almost simultaneously, Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), a prominent holdout, announced his support for the legislation. He said he had secured leadership backing for two priorities: one related to how businesses can deduct major investments like equipment purchases; and the second involving a solution for immigrants brought wihtout authorization to the United States as children.
“Having secured both of those objectives, I am pleased to announce I will vote in support of the tax reform bill,” Flake said in a statement…
From the outset of the current debate on tax reform, my goal has been to ensure that Congress passes a tax reform package that is both fiscally-responsible and promotes economic growth. During the debate over the current bill, I’ve focused on two specific objectives. The first was to eliminate the $85 billion expensing budget gimmick in the bill. The second was to obtain a firm commitment from the Senate Leadership and the administration to work with me on a growth-oriented legislative solution to enact fair and permanent protections for DACA recipients.
Most Americans feel something should be done to grant some sort of amnesty—calling it anything else is being disingenuous—to the DACA recipients, however, what that looks like is certainly open for discussion. If Flake’s assertions are correct, there it may portend a larger support for amnesty among other Republicans in the Senate. What it does not do though is suggest that it will be blanket amnesty, though Flake’s history suggests he would have no problem with that.
President Trump has from the beginning said that he wouldn’t mind granting amnesty if, in exchange he gets funding for the wall as a part of his overall concerns with improving border security, and dealing with the problem of stopping illegal immigration, as well as comprehensive immigration reform. It is the fight over border security, no matter the promises of GOP leadership to Flake, that will determine whether or not amnesty is given to DACA recipients.
Trump has said, no wall, no deal. If enough Republicans pass something that can override a presidential veto, then that will show Republicans aren’t serious about immigration reform at all. Only time will tell. For now, Flake’s statements show that his interests are nowhere aligned with his constituents, and serve as but another reminder why he will soon be unemployed as a political representative for the state of Arizona.
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