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Home   /   Capitol Connection   /   Capitol Connection 05/16/2006

Rep. Taylor Reacts to President Bush’s Immigration Address

Monday night, President Bush addressed the importance of comprehensive immigration reform and I applaud the President for his proposal to deploy 6,000 National Guard troops into the border states to help further strengthen our border. However, I – along with a number of my colleagues in the House – want the President to move towards closing the border to all illegal immigration, which is absolutely essential to national security. The first step in this process is to construct a fence in easily crossed locations along the border, implement state-of-the-art technology to lessen the burden on those patrolling the area, and to increase the number of Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents.

In addition to strengthening border security, a rapid visa program is also necessary to encourage people who want to come to the United States to do so legally. There is a growing misconception that our nation relies on illegal immigrants, instead of workers with legal visas, to stimulate our economy and get additional workers.

I cannot condone rewards of any kind for illegal immigration. It is a gross injustice for legal immigrants who are awaiting citizenship and who have followed the law by proceeding through the immigration process. Our immigration laws were designed to balance the flow of people coming into the United States and to allow immigrants from all over the world – not just the mass acceptance of immigrants from one nation or region – to enter the country. Rewarding those who have come here illegally is totally inconsistent with the billions of dollars we are spending to fight terrorism. The best immigration reform is to enforce the laws we already have on the books.

You will be pleased to know that I regularly support and cosponsor legislation designed to place reasonable curbs on illegal immigration, and I will continue to do so. The majority of the people of WNC clearly agree the first step on this road to solving our immigration problem is to close the holes in our border and implement a faster visa application process.

House passes the Tax Reconciliation Act

Last week the House and the Senate passed the conference report on the Tax Increase Prevention and Reconciliation Act (H.R. 4297), which President Bush is expected to sign into law this week. Passage of this legislation will prevent a tax hike on seniors, families, and small business and ensure that current tax rates do not increase. Specifically, the Tax Increase Prevention and Reconciliation Act will:
  • Extend alternative minimum tax (AMT) relief for an additional year;
  • Extend the increased limit on small business expensing through the end of 2009;
  • Extend the lower tax rate on dividend income through 2010, thus preventing a $13 billion tax increase over the next four years – 1 in 2 taxpaying senior citizens will benefit; and,
  • Extend the lower tax rate on capital gains income through 2010, thus preventing a $7 billion tax increase over the next four years – nearly 1 in 3 senior citizens will benefit

I have always believed that one of the most important things that Congress can do for families is to reduce the tax burden they bear. People know far better how to use their hard-earned money to help their families than the government ever will.

If you would like to read a more detailed summary of the conference report, please visit the following link:

2006 Artistic Discovery Competition

 I would like to congratulate the winners of this year’s 11th Congressional District Art Contest for high school students.

The first place winner is Valerie Whitmire. Valerie is a senior at Asheville High School. Valerie’s art work will be displayed for one year in the United States Capitol Building, which showcases the winners of over 300 Congressional district art contests from around the nation. She is also receiving $500 and a $3,000 per-year scholarship to attend the Savannah School of Art and Design.

The second place winner is Sara Bernardi, who is a senior at Tuscola High School. Sara’s art work will be displayed for one year in my Washington Congressional office. She received a $200 prize.

Third place went to Katherine Gregory, a junior at Tuscola High School. Katherine’s art work will also be displayed for one year in my Asheville Congressional office. She received a $100 prize.

Congratulations to each of these competition winners!