United States Assistant Senate Majority Leader visits Nashville

Congressman Jim Cooper (D-TN) shares press roundtable with Dick Durbin (D-Ill)
Photo: Jennifer Greald

Congressman Jim Cooper (D-TN) held a press roundtable with Dick Durbin (D-Ill), U.S. Senate Assistant Majority Leader, the second-ranking member of the party leadership of the U.S. Senate.  Those present were able to chat with both the Senator and Representative in the comfortable surrounding of Casa Azafran Community Center, located at 2195 Nolensville Pike in Nashville.  Durbin has been Assistant Majority  Leader since 2006; elected by his Democratic colleages every two years.  In 2004, he was elected as Minority Whip.

The discussion centered around border security, economic opportunity, the Immigration Modernization Act of 2013, and the Marketplace Fairness Act.

Sen. Durbin gave a short summary of the immigration bill, sharing.that there will be attention place upon the security of the border, especially high risk areas of the southern border.  Emphasis will be placed on legalization and legal immagration, which will include a path to citizenship, establishing a new frame work for future legal immigration.

According to Durban, the imigration system is badly broken. “11 million people in the shadows will step forward,” he said, “This has been a terrific bi-partian issue.”  He shared that this bill is different then the Reagan bill, because there were several elements not included — like employment and exit visas.  He said there is a great need for a system for checking visas.”  Congressman Cooper spoke more about the sales tax related to e-commerce, as    he is a co-sponsor of the  internet sales tax bill in the House.

“This is an issue that needs repair,” said Cooper.  He said people are suppose to voluntarily pay the  taxes — “presently it is not happening.”

Durbin said the purpose    of the Marketplace Fairness Act is “to provide States with the ability to enforce their existing state and local sales and use tax laws in a way  that does not unduly burden e-commerce.”

Both Sen. Durbin and Rep. Cooper discussed their “disappoinment” regarding voter suppression.

Cooper stated, “The voting issue is an American issue.”