Cedar Rapids, Iowa — Rand Paul began his visit to Iowa this afternoon by tearing into the Gang of Eight’s immigration bill. The Kentucky senator is particularly dissatisfied with its border-security measures. “I thought we voted on building a fence ten years ago,” he told reporters, arguing the security triggers outlined in the legislation “have to have some teeth.”
Paul said he plans to propose a “Trust But Verify” amendment that would grant Congress an annual vote on whether the southern border is secure in order to ensure the Department of Homeland Security is meeting the triggers outlined in the bill.
The Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday struck down an amendment sponsored by Alabama senator Jeff Sessions that would have made the completion of a 700-mile double-layered fence on the southern border a one such trigger.
As Paul suggested, Congress passed legislation requiring the construction of the fence in 2006. The following year, however, lawmakers amended the legislation, giving DHS more discretion over its construction. The department had argued against a one-size-fits-all approach to border security. Currently, the government has erected 36.3 miles of double-layered fencing along the border.
Paul, in town to deliver the keynote speech at tonight’s Lincoln Day dinner, warned that the Senate’s failure to beef up security measures will scuttle the bill. “The bill’s going to have to have more teeth in it to pass the House,” he said.