Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) contacted the Congressional Budget Office today requesting a score of either the House version of the DREAM Act (H.R.1751) or the most recent Senate version (S.3992). Sen. Vitter's request is similar to one made last night by Ranking Member of the House Immigration Subcommittee Steve King. He followed up his request with a speech criticizing the bill on the floor of the Senate.
Both requests come after rumors circulating on Capitol Hill that the DREAM Act could cost taxpayers up to $20 billion.
The DREAM Act would grant amnesty to an estimated 2.1 million illegal aliens, giving them access to in-state tuition rates at public universities, federal student loans, and federal work-study programs. The most recently introduced version, S.3992, also requires the Department of Homeland Security and Health and Human Services to conduct background checks and medical examinations, which will seemingly be funded by the federal government. It is imperative that Members of Congress and the American people know the estimated cost of the DREAM Act before a single vote is cast on this legislation.
-- Sen. Vitter to Douglas Elmendorf (Director, Congressional Budget Office)
Sen. Vitter also made the following statement on the floor of the U.S. Senate this morning:
I am extremely disappointed that Senator Reid intends to begin debate on yet another version of the DREAM Act. Amnesty and economic incentives only exacerbate the problem of illegal immigration, and while this bill continues to be disguised as an educational initiative, it is simply another measure that offers a path to citizenship for illegals in this country.
This is a bad idea anytime, but this is an especially bad idea in our current economic climate. At a time when many American families can’t afford to send their own children to college, this bill is an insult to legal tax-paying American citizens whose hard-earned money will be used to finance the education of illegal aliens.
The American people have made it very clear that they want to see the government fulfill its responsibility and enforce our immigration laws already on the books and take steps to control illegal immigration – not reward bad behavior with educational benefits. As chairman of the Senate Border Security Caucus, I will not relent in the fight to stop this or any amnesty measure from passing.