House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert, up and about after four days in the hospital last week for treatment of a leg infection, flies to Louisiana today to inspect Katrina damage near Lake Charles.
He'll do a helicopter tour of the area this morning and get briefings by officials before departing for Arizona and Texas to check out security on the U.S.-Mexican border. The bigger theme of Hastert's weekend will be immigration, bolstering GOP efforts to bury provisions in a Senate bill calling for a guest worker program and a path to legalizing the status of millions of illegal immigrants. He wants the House to first pass a bill dealing only with border security before entertaining anything more.
UPDATE FROM SPEAKERS OFFICE
Also, mark you calendars and be sure to watch Fox News Sunday this week (Sunday, July 23 @ 9:00am EDT) to see Speaker Hastert's interview where he will be discussing his recent border trip.
BACK TO SWEET COLUMN
The goal of the border visits is to ''highlight the problems'' with the Senate bill, passed with Democratic and Republican votes and backed by President Bush. This is an official government trip, and Rep. Bobby Rush is the only Democrat in the eight-member delegation.
Hastert and the GOP House leaders are holding hearings around the nation to build support for their "Security First'' bill, which passed in December with GOP votes.
Bush and senators fear it will really mean "Security Only."
from the speakers office...
Speaker Hastert Announces Delegation and
Press Schedule for Visit to U.S.-Mexican Border
(Washington, D.C.) Speaker of the House J. Dennis Hastert (R-IL) and Members of the U.S. House of Representatives will visit the U.S. border at Yuma, Arizona, to get a first-hand look at our border security needs as well as how taxpayer border enforcement money is being spent. During this trip the delegation will also visit border security officials in Nogales, AZ, Camp Grip, AZ, and El Paso, TX. The delegation will receive comprehensive briefings on border security enforcement and what is required to get the job done. Prior to visiting the U.S.-Mexican border the delegation will visit the district of Rep. Charles W. Boustany (R-LA) in Lake Charles, LA, which was affected by Hurricane Rita. Details of the trip are provided below:
The delegation is comprised of the following members:
Speaker of the House J. Dennis Hastert (R-IL)
House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Peter King (R-NY)
Rep. Jim Kolbe (R-AZ)
Rep. Candice Miller (R-MI)
Rep. Charles Boustany (R-LA)
Rep. Steve Pearce (R-NM)
Rep. J.D. Haworth (R-AZ)
Rep. Bobby Rush (D-IL)