Kickbacks and carve-outs: this is how the immigration bill will pass the Senate

Posted by: Phineas on June 23, 2013 at 2:27 pm

**Posted by Phineas

satire money suitcase bribery corruption

Remember the deals bribes various senators were offered for favorable consideration to buy their vote for Obamacare? There were Mary Landrieu’s “Louisiana Purchase,” Ben Nelson’s “Cornhusker Kickback,” Chris Dodd’s “U-Con,” Bill Nelson’s “Gator-Aid” for Florida, and others. In each case, a senator sold their vote in favor of an unpopular, badly written bill few had read in return for a legislative 30 pieces of silver.

Now there comes the immigration reform bill: an increasingly unpopular, badly written bill that few have read in full and is being rushed to passage before many can.

And it’s happening again:

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and Sen. Dean Heller (R-NV) have inserted a provision that amounts to little more than a handout to Las Vegas casinos into the repackaged immigration reform bill, Breitbart News has learned. This provision, a brazen example of crony capitalism, was inserted into the immigration law enforcement section of the bill despite the fact that it has nothing whatsoever to do with “immigration” or “law enforcement.”

On page 66 of the repackaged bill, the following provision appears:
“CORPORATION FOR TRAVEL PROMOTION.—Sec- 9(d)(2)(B) of the Travel Promotion Act of 2009 (22 U.S.C. 2131(d)(2)(B)) is amended by striking ‘‘For each of fiscal years 2012 through 2015,’’ and inserting ‘‘For each fiscal year after 2012.”

The Travel Promotion Act (TPA) of 2009 allows the Secretary of the U.S. Treasury to spend up to $100 million on promoting travel to specific areas of the country. If the provision Reid and Heller inserted into the proposed immigration reform legislation becomes law, the benefits of the TPA would be extended indefinitely.

As the Heritage Foundation’s Jena McNeill wrote in June 2009, the Travel Promotion Act creates “a government-run public relations campaign funded by a tax on international visitors.” After the law was passed, the PR campaign touting Las Vegas casinos and other tourist destinations in the U.S. using that tax was rolled into a government-run corporation called “Brand USA.” In October 2012, Jim DeMint and Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) released a report that “reveals a history of waste, abuse, patronage, and lax oversight” with the Brand USA program and the Department of Commerce that oversees it.

Why any state needs a federally funded campaign to attract tourists is beyond me; they all have tourism boards of their own, after all. And, if the big casinos want to boost Vegas, somehow something tells me they make enough money to fund a campaign themselves.

But, the question of where the federal government gets its authority to promote tourism aside, here’s the kicker and the kickback: per the Breitbart article, Senator Dean Heller (R) was not a sponsor of the original immigration bill. Now, with the amendment, something he can brag about in his next campaign, he suddenly is. You can just hear the clink of the silver in his palm.

So, what should we call this one? How about the “Silver State Sellout?”

via Jay Cost

UPDATE: Ooh! And here’s another, this time for Alaska! Clink, clink, clink.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

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4 Responses to “Kickbacks and carve-outs: this is how the immigration bill will pass the Senate”


  1. foxmuldar says:

    Anyone voting for this piece of crap should be taken out and hanged for treason. This bill is a travesty. Just like the many previous amnesty bills, the border will never be secured. Rubio should be ashamed of himself for clinging to such lies. Any chance he ever had of running for president is gone unless he expects the Millions of Illegals to turn coat and vote Republican. Who really believe that these law breakers will be required to learn english? Is the government going to be holding English speaking classes for these losers? And with Napolitano having the final say on who can stay in this country, how many illegals do you think will actually be sent home? Its a scam just as Obamacare is a scam. Republicans pushing this scam should expect to be voted out quickly. Nothing in this bill is good for the American citizen. Wages will be going down for the lower class workers as Illegals will soon be taking their jobs. Illegals wages will actually be rising. Illegals won’t be going to the back of the bus as the phony Conservative adds claim. Hell Illegals are already going to the front of the line in states like New Jersey where instate tuition is now going to be given to Illegals while citizens of this country from other states will still pay higher rates. Imagine you break the laws of this country and are rewarded for your crimes. Only in America does being Illegal benefit you more then being a natural born citizen.

  2. The attached provisions to bills in congress are called “riders” and are as old as the legislative process itself. The fact that a good many legislators are operating with their heads up their as*es is nothing new either.

    Why does the casino industry need government funds for any reason at all? Three out of four people who gamble lose. Those are very good odds if your are in that line of work.

  3. Tango says:

    …this blows, but I am not surprised. Pinky Reid is as corrupt as they come. Heller (whom I voted for as the lesser evil the last time out) is hardly impressive either.

    It stinks.

  4. EBL says:

    Marco Rubio Goes To Washington is playing out not as a heart warming Frank Capra classic, but more George Lucas-Anakin Skywalker tragedy…