Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Bob Goodlatte On The Recent Attempt To Paint Him As An Amnesty Supporter


As the legislative week gets underway here in Washington, I wanted to update you on two important items I have recently been working on in the House of Representatives, as well as one upcoming markup in the House Judiciary Committee, which I chair.  As a committed conservative who represents our Sixth District values, I know you share my desire to advance policies that meet sound constitutional principles.

As you may have already seen, some news articles have misrepresented my work on immigration reform and mischaracterized my position on the issue.  I am opposed to amnesty and always have been.  I do not support a special pathway to citizenship that rewards those who have willfully broken our immigration laws.  To try and paint my position as something else is just not accurate.  

The Judiciary Committee, as you may know, handles immigration reform.  For the last year we have held more than a dozen hearings on the issue, and passed two enforcement first bills and two bills that improve some of our legal immigration programs to spur economic growth and job creation.  This step-by-step approach is the best way to fully examine the issue and not rush to judgment and repeat the mistakes of the past, like the Senate immigration bill, which I strongly oppose.

If you’ve been watching the news lately, you’ll know one of the most talked about topics is the National Security Agency (NSA).  I have continued my work to protect your civil liberties and freedoms in cyberspace and over the telephone by strengthening the laws that govern the NSA and their surveillance methods.  As was highlighted by Edward Snowden, the NSA has engaged in some questionable actions, which require robust congressional oversight and reform.  As Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, I have already conducted several hearings to examine how the laws are being carried out and how best we can protect your civil liberties.

Just last week I joined several other conservatives, like Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, at the White House to share our strong concerns with the President.  While our country does need surveillance programs to protect us from threats, it must be balanced in order to protect your constitutional rights and civil liberties. Bottom line, as I told the President, it’s increasingly clear that we need to take legislative action to reform some of our nation’s intelligence-gathering programs and ensure they adequately protect Americans’ civil liberties and operate in a sensible manner. 

Wrapping up, I wanted to let you know I’ll be conducting a markup in the Judiciary Committee this week of H.R. 7, legislation to end federal funding of abortion.  The markup will be held tomorrow morning at 10:15 am.  Protecting human life is vitally important, and this legislation will help ensure that your federal tax dollars are not being spent in the taking of innocent human life.

As all of these efforts continue, I hope that you will stay in touch.  Best wishes for your 2014. 


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