Rand Paul, speaking for the tea party, says party should be pro-immigrant
When he delivers the "tea party" response to President Obama's State of the Union address tonight, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., will urge conservatives to embrace immigrants, suggesting the tea party message will be fairly in sync with the official Republican response.
"We are the party that embraces hard work and ingenuity, therefore we must be the party that embraces the immigrant who wants to come to America for a better future," Paul will say, according to an excerpt from his speech he posted on Facebook. "We must be the party who sees immigrants as assets, not liabilities. We must be the party that says, 'If you want to work, if you want to become an American, we welcome you.'"
After Mr. Obama speaks before a joint session of Congress tonight, Paul will deliver the third "official Tea Party State of the Union response," sponsored by the grassroots group the Tea Party Express.
Meanwhile, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla. -- who, like Paul, was elected in 2010 with the backing of the Tea Party -- will deliver the Republican Party's official response tonight. Rubio's speech will will focus on the middle class, his aides tell CBS News. "This opportunity - to make it to the middle class or beyond no matter where you start out in life - it isn't bestowed on us from Washington," he'll say, according to excerpts of his speech. However, Rubio will also make a direct appeal to Latinos tonight, delivering his speech in both English and Spanish.
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Rubio is part of a bipartisan team of senators attempting to craft comprehensive immigration reform legislation. A number of Republicans in both the House and the Senate have expressed interest in pursuing immigration reform, even as the tea party remains focused on fiscal issues.
Paul, in his remarks, will illustrate just how committed the tea party is to spending cuts: According to additional excerpts released, Paul will say the $1.2 trillion "sequester" cuts that have both Democrats and Republicans concerned should, in fact, be at least $4 trillion. "Both parties will have to agree to cut, or we will never fix our fiscal mess," he'll say.
He'll also dole out criticism to both Democrats and Republicans: "Both parties have been guilty of spending too much, of protecting their sacred cows, of backroom deals in which everyone up here wins, but every taxpayer loses," his prepared remarks say.
While Rubio's remarks are focused on the middle class, he will also endorse some conservative ideas, such as an amendment to the Constitution requiring Congress to balance the federal budget. "We need a balanced budget amendment," his prepared remarks say. "The biggest obstacles to balancing the budget are programs where spending is already locked in."
The Tea Party Express said in a release that the group is pleased Rubio will be speaking for the Republican Party tonight. "Both Senator Rubio and Senator Paul will articulate pro-growth, fiscally responsible messages that will resonate with the American people," the release said.
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