Sweet blog extra: Obama, Graham spar over immigration amendments. Transcript.

SHARE Sweet blog extra: Obama, Graham spar over immigration amendments. Transcript.
SHARE Sweet blog extra: Obama, Graham spar over immigration amendments. Transcript.

WASHINGTON- Transcript of sparring between Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) over whether an amendment proposed by presidential contender Obama will kill a bi-partisan deal on the immigration bill. Graham is a backer of White House hopeful Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) an architect of the bill.

Excerpts

Graham: SO WHEN YOU’RE OUT ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL, MY FRIEND, TELL THEM ABOUT WHY CAN’T WE COME TOGETHER, THIS IS WHY.

Obama: THAT THAT SOMEHOW DESTROYS THE BIPARTISAN NATURE OF THIS BILL IS SIMPLY UNTRUE.

{21:36:47 NSP} (MR. OBAMA) { NOT AN OFFICIAL

MR. GRAHAM: THANK YOU, MR. PRESIDENT. I THINK IT’S VERY

APPROPRIATE THAT YOU BE OCCUPYING THE CHAIR DURING THIS MOMENT

IN THIS DEBATE. MY GOOD FRIEND FROM ILLINOIS SAYS THAT TO THOSE

WHO HAVE WORKED SO HARD TO GET THIS BILL TO THE POINT THAT IT’S

AT, NOTHING PERSONAL, BUT I CAN’T LIVE WITH THIS PROVISION. YOU

KNOW, BIPARTISANSHIP IS MUSIC TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE’S EARS.

WHEN YOU’RE OUT THERE ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL, YOU’RE TRYING TO

PWR EU US ALL TOGETHER. YOU’RE TRYING TO MAKE AMERICA BETTER.

WHY CAN’T WE WORK TOGETHER?

{21:33:11} (MR. GRAHAM) { NOT AN OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPT }

THIS IS WHY WE CAN’T WORK TOGETHER. BECAUSE SOME PEOPLE, WHEN

IT COMES TO THE TOUGH DECISIONS, BACK AWAY BECAUSE WHEN YOU

TALK ABOUT BIPARTISANSHIP, SOME AMERICANS ON THE LEFT AND THE

RIGHT CONSIDER IT HERESY. AND WE’RE GIVING IN IF WE PASS THIS

AMENDMENT. THE 12 MILLION WHO HAVE LIVED IN FEAR FOR DECADES,

MY REPUBLICAN COLLEAGUES AND A MAJORITY HAVE TOLD OUR BASE

WE’RE NOT GOING TO PUT THEM IN JAIL AND WE’RE NOT GOING TO

DEPORT THEM. NO MATTER HOW MUCH YOU SCREAM, NO MATTER HOW MUCH

YOU YELL, WE’RE GOING TO MAKE THEM RIGHT WITH THE LAW, WE’RE

{21:33:48} (MR. GRAHAM) { NOT AN OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPT }

GOING TO PUNISH THEM. BUT WE’RE NOT GOING TO PLAY LIKE THEY

DON’T EXIST. AND WE ARE GOING TO DO THINGS DIFFERENT IN THE

FUTURE. IF YOU CARE ABOUT FAMILY, UNDER THIS BILL PEOPLE ARE

UNITED IN EIGHT YEARS WHO WOULD BE 30 YEARS TO GET HERE. IF YOU

CARE ABOUT FAMILIES WANTING TO WAKE UP ONE MORNING AND NOT BE

AFRAID, THIS BILL DOES IT. THIS AMENDMENT, IN THE NAME OF

MAKING THE BILL BETTER, SAYS BIPARTISANSHIP DOESN’T HAVE THE

“BI” IN IT. IT MEANS THAT EVERYBODY OVER HERE WHO’S WALKED THE

PLANK AND TOLD OUR BASE YOU’RE WRONG, YOU’RE GOING TO DESTROY

{21:34:22} (MR. GRAHAM) { NOT AN OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPT }

THIS DEAL. AND THAT’S EXACTLY WHAT IT IS. A DEAL. A DEAL TO

MAKE AMERICA MORE SECURE, TO GIVE PEOPLE A CHANCE TO START

THEIR LIVES OVER AGAIN AND TO HAVE A NEW SYSTEM THAT HAS A

STRONG FAMILY COMPONENT BUT WILL MAKE US COMPETITIVE WITH THE

WORLD. BECAUSE SOME PEOPLE DON’T WANT TO SAY TO THE LOUD FOLKS,

NO, YOU CAN’T HAVE YOUR WAY ALL THE TIME. NOW LET ME TELL YOU,

THIS IS ABOUT AS BIPARTISAN AS YOU’LL GET, MR. PRESIDENT. SOME

OF US ON THE REPUBLICAN SIDE HAVE BEEN BEAT UP AND SOME OF YOU

{21:34:58} (MR. GRAHAM) { NOT AN OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPT }

ON THE DEMOCRATIC SIDE HAVE BEEN BEAT UP BECAUSE WE’VE TRIED TO

FIND A WAY FORWARD IN A PROBLEM THAT NOBODY ELSE WANTS TO DEAL

WITH. TO MY FRIEND, SENATOR KENNEDY, THANK YOU FOR TRYING TO

FIND A WAY, AS MUCH AS WE’RE DIFFERENT, TO MAKE THIS COUNTRY

BETTER, MORE SECURE, TO TREAT 12 MILLION PEOPLE IN A WAY

THEY’VE NEVER BEEN TREATED AND, IN MY OPINION, DESERVE TO BE

TREATED, A CHANCE TO START OEFRPLT WHAT A SWEET IDEA IT IS TO

HAVE A SECOND CHANCE IN LIFE. WELL, THEY’RE NOT GOING TO GET IT

{21:35:31} (MR. GRAHAM) { NOT AN OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPT }

IF THIS PASSES, AND AMERICA WILL BE ALL THE WORSE FOR IT. WHAT

A GREAT OPPORTUNITY WE HAVE AS A COUNTRY NOT TO REPEAT THE

MISTAKES OF 1986 BY HAVING A MERIT-BASED IMMIGRATION SYSTEM

THAT HAS A STRONG FAMILY COMPONENT BUT FREES UP SOME GREEN

CARDS SO THAT WE CAN BE COMPETITIVE. SO WHEN YOU’RE OUT ON THE

CAMPAIGN TRAIL, MY FRIEND, TELL THEM ABOUT WHY CAN’T WE COME

{21:35:58 NSP} (MR. OBAMA) { NOT AN OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPT }

TOGETHER, THIS IS WHY. MR. OBAMA: MR. PRESIDENT?

MR. PRESIDENT?

{21:36:47 NSP} (MR. OBAMA) { NOT AN OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPT }

MR. OBAMA: MR. PRESIDENT, JUST A VERY SIMPLE RESPONSE TO WHAT

WE JUST HEARD. I THINK THAT IT IS IMPORTANT TO CONSIDER THE

ACTUAL AMENDMENT BEFORE US AS OPPOSED TO WHAT APPEARED TO BE A

BROAD-BASED DISCUSSION OF THE BILL OVERALL. WHAT THIS AMENDMENT

SPECIFICALLY DOES IS IT SAYS WE WILL GO FORWARD WITH THE

PROPOSAL THAT HAS BEEN ADVANCED BY THIS BIPARTISAN GROUP. IT

{21:37:17} (MR. OBAMA) { NOT AN OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPT }

SIMPLY SAYS THAT WE SHOULD EXAMINE AFTER FIVE YEARS WHETHER THE

PROGRAM IS WORKING. THE NOTION THAT SOMEHOW THAT GUTS THE BILL

OR DESTROYS THE BILL IS SIMPLY DISINGENUOUS, AND IT’S ENGAGING

IN THE SORT OF HISTRIONICS THAT IS ENTIRELY INAPPROPRIATE FOR

THIS DEBATE. THIS IS A BILL THAT SAYS AFTER FIVE YEARS WE WILL

EXAMINE A POINT SYSTEM IN WHICH WE HAVE HAD NO HEARINGS IN THE

PUBLIC, NOBODY HAS HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO CONSIDER EXACTLY HOW

{21:37:48} (MR. OBAMA) { NOT AN OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPT }

THIS WAS STRUCTURED. IT WAS STRUCTURED BEHIND CLOSED DOORS. AND

THE NOTION THAT AFTER FIVE YEARS WE CAN REEXAMINE IT TO SEE IF

IT’S WORKING PROPERLY AS OPPOSED TO LOCKING IT IN FOR 14 YEARS,

THAT THAT SOMEHOW DESTROYS THE BIPARTISAN NATURE OF THIS BILL

IS SIMPLY UNTRUE. AND SO I WOULD ASK ALL MY COLLEAGUES TO

CONSIDER THE NATURE OF THE ACTUAL AMENDMENT THAT IS ON THE

FLOOR AS OPPOSED TO THE DISCUSSION THAT PRECEDED MINE. I YIELD

THE FLOOR, MR MR. PRESIDENT.

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