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Senate Budget Committee ranking member Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) uncovered this loophole in the bill and many others, and he will circulate a memo detailing the gaps in the bill on Tuesday. Breitbart News exclusively obtained a copy of the memo before its public release.
“The Gang of Eight made a promise that illegal immigrants will not be able to access public benefits,” Sessions said in a statement to Breitbart News. “We already know that, once granted green cards and ultimately citizenship, illegal immigrants will be able to access all public benefit programs at a great cost to taxpayers. We have, however, identified a number of loopholes that would allow illegal immigrants to draw public benefits even sooner than advertised.”
Understanding Sequestration & Is This Pain Necessary
Congress passed the Budget Control Act of 2011 as a means of impacting the Federal budget if no agreement could be reached. The Act affects fiscal 2012 through 2021 and calls for a $1.2 trillion cut in spending over a decade, which equals $120 billion dollars a year.
A recent Alabama Voices column by Jesse Salinas, state director of AARP, raises a number of important questions about the current state of utility rates in Alabama. Salinas argues that customers in our state are overpaying for power and gas due to what he considers lax oversight on the part of the Public Service Commission, but there is more to the story than Mr. Salinas tells.
The organization I represent, Generation America, is focused on making sure that seniors have access to affordable and reliable gas and power. While paying utility bills is one of the least pleasant activities anyone can do, it is a matter of record that the rates paid by power customers in Alabama have remained below the national average for decades. In fact, our state’s low electricity rates, in particular, are among the key reasons why new industry continues to choose Alabama for manufacturing investments.
The real howler, though, is when Salinas claims that gas and power prices are high because utilities in Alabama are guaranteed a profit of as much as 14.5 percent. That’s simply not true. Salinas should know better than anyone that increases to power rates in Alabama in recent history are due to costs from new environmental rules that his organization, AARP, supported.
Any increases certainly shouldn’t be blamed on figures like the one Salinas describes, since the actual rate of return calculated into customers’ bills is less than 8 percent. Truth be told, the author simply cherry-picks a single number from among dozens, without giving an accurate picture.
Mr. Salinas’ mischaracterization appears even more blatant when you consider that power customers in Alabama today pay more for electricity because of costly new environmental mandates that AARP supported. In recent years, mandates supported by AARP and other liberal groups in Washington, D.C., have cost energy consumers across the nation tens of billions of dollars. Mr. Salinas, of course, doesn’t acknowledge that.
He also doesn’t mention that AARP recently supported federal “cap-and-trade” legislation that would have saddled power customers in Alabama with hundreds of millions in new costs. AARP, growing more liberal in recent years, has proved it is not the solution to lower energy costs; rather, the organization has become a key part of the problem.
Recently, a report by Forbes revealed how the AARP will make nearly $3 billion through its support of Obamacare and that program’s cuts to Medicare. By backing Obamacare, against the wishes of millions of its members, AARP guaranteed itself a windfall of $1 billion in insurance profits.
I wonder if Mr. Salinas will complain in this newspaper in future years about the consequences of socializing our system of medicine. He certainly can’t have it both ways, supporting policies that raise costs and then demanding they be lower.
I hope our state’s leaders will see not only the facts behind our system of utility regulation, but the puzzling hypocrisy of AARP, once so revered, on a topic of such importance. Our seniors certainly deserve to know the entire truth.
Conwell Hooper of Montgomery is director of advocacy for Generation America.