Anti-14th Amendment/Birthright Citizenship update: Bills transferred to friendlier committee

By Craig McDermott, cross-posted from Random Musings

On Monday, the Judiciary Committee of the Arizona Senate failed to move two nativist-written and -sponsored anti-birthright citizenship bills.

On Tuesday, Senate President Russell Pearce withdrew the bills from Judiciary to the Appropriations Committee for consideration (SB1309 and SB1308).

They are scheduled for consideration there on Tuesday, February 15 (next Tuesday) at 2 p.m. in SHR109.

The bills are expected to find a far friendlier reception in Appropriations than in Judiciary. 

While there is some overlap between the memberships of the two committees, it's an overlap that favors passage.

On the Judiciary Committee, Ron Gould and Andy Biggs are the chair and vice-chair respectively; on Appropriations, they switch jobs. 

Both favored the bills.

In addition, Judiciary member Rick Murphy is also on Appropriations, and he favored the bills at Monday's hearing.

Opponent Adam Driggs and (likely) opponent John McComish are NOT on Appropriations, so their voices and their votes won't be heard Tuesday.

Instead, the Republicans hearing the bill will be:

Sylvia Allen, Russell Pearce's close friend and ally
Andy Biggs, who has already made it clear that he wholeheartedly supports the bills and a cosponsor of both
Rich Crandall, a very conservative Republican who has occasional bouts of sanity
Ron Gould, who is known for celebrating the 4th of July by flying a Confederate flag in his backyard and is the originating sponsor of both measures
Lori Klein, who started the latest dustup over legislators carrying guns at the Capitol and a cosponsor of both measures
Al Melvin, who is a cosponsor of both measures
Rick Murphy, who is also a cosponsor of both measures
Don Shooter, another cosponsor and Kool-Aid drinker (and purveyor)
Steve Smith, yet another cosponsor of both measures

The Appropriations Committee is larger than Judiciary (13 members vs. 8), so it will need at least seven votes to pass, but by my count, at least seven members are sponsors/cosponsors, and Sylvia Allen is expected to vote whatever way Russell Pearce wants her to (to be fair to Allen, she appears to be a "true believer," not a tool…not exactly a marked improvement, that).

That leaves Rich Crandall, who though known for occasionally not being a total ideologue, doesn't let sanity or decency get in the way of a safe political future.  He voted for SB1070 last year.

The bottom line:  SBs 1308 and 1309 will pass Appropriations by an 8 – 5 or 9 – 4 vote.

The brightest spot in all this?  Kyrsten Sinema, who eloquently and strongly debunked the nativists in the Senate Judiciary hearing, is also a member of Appropriations.  She will be joined by fellow Democrats Olivia Cajero Bedford, Paula Aboud, and Senate Democratic Leader David Schapira.

See you Tuesday, and bring your popcorn…

Comments are closed.