Much of the work in Congress recently has
focused on S. 744, the bipartisan immigration
reform bill, currently being debated in the
Senate. I wanted to update you on some important
amendments to this bill that I have worked on to
strengthen this legislation.
I announced today that I am cosponsoring an
amendment with Sens. John Hoeven (R-N.D.),
Â Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) and Marco Rubio (R-FL)
to dramatically increase the border security
provisions in S. 744, after two of the amendments
I filed to the measure â€“ on welfare and
Social Security benefits - were included. I will
also push for a vote on my amendment on back
taxes this coming week.
Iâ€™ve been clear that in order for any
immigration reform legislation to be successful
it needs to be fair to both American taxpayers
and those wanting to become American citizens.
Furthermore, as my votes show, I believed
strongly that the border security components of
the bill needed to be further strengthened.
Today, after lengthy negotiations, two of my
amendments have been included in the broader
border security amendment put forward by Senators
Hoeven and Corker. Iâ€™m pleased these two
common-sense amendments I put forward limiting
public benefits to newly legalized immigrants are
a part of this package as well.
No legislation is perfect and I would have
written it differently. Having said that, the
reality is that there are 11 million people
living with de facto amnesty today â€“
avoiding taxes and obligations that American
citizens have. Securing the border while making
these immigrants meet the same obligations that
Americans have to live up to just makes sense.
Our immigration system is broken and not doing
anything isnâ€™t a solution.
To read descriptions of the amendments, as
modified, that are included in the Hoeven-Corker
amendment you can visit
While attention has been focused on this
important issue â€“ I thought you might also
be interested in a few other items that have made
an impact this week.
Two Hatch Energy Bills Pass the
Two pieces of energy legislation I introduced
earlier this year that directly impact Utah
passed the Senate this week. The South Utah
Valley Electric Service District (S.25) and
Bonneville Unit Clean Hydropower Facilitation
(S.26) both passed the Senate unanimously.
The Bonneville Unit Clean Hydropower
Facilitation Act allows for the development of
hydroelectric power on the Diamond Fork system of
the Central Utah Water Project (CUP). This bill
previously passed the Senate and the House
companion bill passed the House, but neither bill
has passed both bodies.
This bill gives CUP the ability to move
forward with harnessing the power it needs.
Iâ€™m hopeful this is the year we get this
needed legislation signed into law.
The South Valley Electric Conveyance Act
conveys certain federal features of the electric
distribution system to the South Utah Valley
Electric Service District. The South Utah Valley
Electric Service District has operated and
managed these facilities for decades and this
bill will give them ownership.
All weâ€™re asking for here is for the
South Utah Valley Electric District to have
ownership of the distribution system that
theyâ€™ve been running for decades.
Letâ€™s put this ownership into the hands of
those who know the ins and outs of this
technology, rather than bureaucrats in
Bill to Fully Repeal Death Tax
I joined a bipartisan group of members of
Congress this week to back legislation to fully
repeal the â€śdeath tax.â€ť I have been a
longtime backer of full repeal of this tax on
estates. The legislation, the Death Tax Repeal
Act of 2013, would permanently repeal the death
tax and lowers the gift tax to 35 percent with a
$5 million exemption.
Hard-working Americans who pay taxes on nearly
every aspect of their lives â€“ from what
they earn to what they buy - are then taxed again
upon their death. Iâ€™ve heard from farmers
and ranchers and small business owners across
Utah who fear that they wonâ€™t be able to
pass along to their children what theyâ€™ve
worked so hard to build out of fear of the
federal death tax. This bill puts a nail in the
coffin of the death tax by repealing it for good.
This bill protects small farms and businesses
since the value of whatâ€™s passed on is
locked in their land and their businesses. And
this bill is bipartisan -- showing how widespread
support is for curtailing this onerous and unfair
The Death Tax Repeal Act of 2013 is supported
by the American Farm Bureau Federation,
Associated Builders and Contractors, National
Association of Manufacturers, National Federation
of Independent Business, 60 Plus Association,
Americans for Tax Reform, Club for Growth,
National Black Chamber of Commerce, International
Franchise Association, National Taxpayers Union,
American Conservative Union, Family Business
Coalition, and many other organizations.
In addition to these important issues, I have
made statements on other initiatives, issues and
happenings this week that you might be interested
in. I would encourage you to visit my website
Thank you for your interest, feedback and