Sens. Kaine / Warner Vote To Keep Flying Illegal Aliens Into US Cities

More evidence of governmental dysfunction was displayed March 21-23.

Despite the US National Debt at over $34 trillion, much of the federal government was scheduled to reach its debt limit ceiling at 12:01 am on Saturday, March 23.

Despite that deadline being known for months, the 1,012-page spending bill for $1.2 trillion was made public 2:32 am on Thur. March 21. (For reference, one trillion is one thousand billion dollars.) The bill funds about 70% of the federal government until September 2024, including the Departments of Defense, State, Homeland Security, Treasury, Labor, Education, and Health and Human Services.

Despite the House of Representatives being under GOP leadership with Speaker Mike Johnson, Republican leadership waived the 72-hour rule requiring time for bills to be studied and debated. Instead, Johnson used a different rule that eliminated the wait period but requires a two-thirds vote to approve, thus requiring Democrat cooperation.

House GOP leadership pushed it through on Friday, March 22. Notably, the bill passed the House with more Democrat votes than Republican ones: 185 Democrats and 101 Republicans voted FOR, with 134 GOP and no Democrats AGAINST. Twelve members did not vote.

It’s unclear why GOP House Speaker Mike Johnson would support a budget promoted by Democrats like Joe Biden, Chuck Schumer, and Nancy Pelosi.

The three Congressmen representing Central and Western Virginia all bucked their Party leadership and voted NAY. They are Reps. Ben Cline (R-6), Morgan Griffith (R-9), and Bob Good (R-5).

On his official Twitter/X account, Rep. Cline explained his opposition this way:

In contrast, the two Republicans representing districts in Eastern Virginia voted YES: Reps. Jen Kiggans (R-2) and Rob Wittman (R-1).

Later that day, the US Senate took up the bill and with only a few hours of debate passed it just past midnight, 74-24. Even though it ended the fiscal year 2024 budgeting six months late, the entire public process was squeezed into about 48 hours.

The two US senators representing Virginia, Democrats Mark Warner and Tim Kaine, voted with the unanimous Democrats and a number of Republicans to approve the budget. On straight party-line votes, Sens. Warner and Kaine also voted to kill a number of amendments some GOP senators tried to add to enhance border security and protect women’s sports.

The Roanoke Star asked Sens. Warner and Kaine the following questions by email:

  1. Did you vote NO on Sen. Bill Hagerty’s (R-Tenn.) March 23 amendment to defund the US government flying illegal immigrants into US cities, and if so, why?

2. If you voted NO,  why do illegal migrants get free airline tickets paid for by taxpayers, but legal Virginia residents do not get to enjoy free airfare?

3. Did you vote NO on Sen. Marsha Blackburns’s (R-Tenn.) CLEAR Act last Saturday?  If so, why? (The CLEAR Act stands for “Clear Law Enforcement for Criminal Alien Removal” was designed to help local law enforcement help federal authorities deport illegal immigrants who commit crimes in the US.)

The Haggerty Amendment to stop using taxpayer funds to fly illegal aliens into the US was defeated 51-47, where every Democrat voted against while every Republican voted for. Sen. Haggerty claimed his amendment wasn’t voted on until around 1:30 Saturday morning. Haggerty continued: “I think they thought no one would see it, would see that every Democrat voted to fly illegal migrants in here from countries like Haiti, Cuba, Nicaragua. [This is done] on taxpayer funds, using charter flights, flying over our border, and putting them into the interior of America.”

Haggerty claims 320,000 such illegal aliens were flown in this way into the US in 2023. For reference, that is approximately the size of three Roanoke Cities and one Salem.

Sen. Warner, who is not running for re-election this year, did not respond, but Sen. Kaine, who is running for re-election now, did. Kaine staffer Janine Kritschgau did not answer the questions directly, but included a video link where Kaine appeared on Fox news, interviewed by Shannon Bream, a Liberty University graduate and 1990 Miss Virginia.

In the interview, Kaine justified his votes against the amendments by blaming the GOP-led House of Representatives. Kaine stated, correctly, that the House sent the bill to the Senate just hours before a government shut-down Saturday night, when they reached the debt limit.

Kaine added, also correctly, that the House immediately left DC for a two-week holiday after passing the budget, so if the Senate had approved any amendments, that would have required House action. However, House action would have been impossible with an empty chamber, and that would have triggered a government shutdown.

What Kaine failed to mention, however, was that the House only had two days to deal with the budget, because the Senate didn’t release the text until early Thursday morning.

Thus The Roanoke Star asked Ms. Kritschgau: “Since the [shutdown] deadline had been known for months, why did the Senate make the bill public at the last minute, so that there was no time for amendments to be discussed or voted on, or frankly for the whole bill to be studied and debated?”

No response has been received as of publication time.

Kaine also mentioned the budget included funds for the Departments of Defense and Homeland Security, and warned that failure to pass the budget by Saturday night would hamstring those departments’ operations. Kaine, who serves on the Senate Armed Services Committee, often touts his concerns for national defense in election years.

Polls consistently show a large majority of Americans oppose using their taxpayer dollars to fly illegal aliens into the US. Moreover, many Americans are unaware that illegal aliens are counted in the US census, thus their numbers are included in how states are apportioned votes in the House of Representatives and Electoral College for choosing a president. That has the effect of diluting the voting power of legal US citizens.

In addition to border security measures that died, “The Protection of Women and Girls in Sports Act” amendment also died on the Senate floor late Friday night as Sens. Kaine and Warner joined the 51 Democrats to kill it.

Evidently, leaders of both parties have established this pattern:

  1. Ignore looming budget deadlines for months.
  2. Drop a bill in the middle of the night with only one or two days left.
  3. Use the short timeframe to cut off study and debate, which allows the budgets to be both huge and full of controversial parts.
  4. Then ram through a final vote in the middle of the night so Congressmen can go on TV to boast they were able to “avoid a catastrophic government shutdown.”

Sen. Kaine and Reps. Cline, Griffith, and Good will all seek re-election in 2024.

–Scott Dreyer



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