Obama Signs Ben Quayle-Approved Border Tunnel Bill; Congressman Manages to Avoid Trash-Talking President
President Barack Obama signed the Border Tunnel Prevention Act of 2012 into law yesterday, which raises the penalties for constructing tunnels from Mexico into the United States.
Congressman Ben Quayle's been pushing this bill for some time, and equally noteworthy, Quayle avoided talking smack on the president after he signed it.
"I'm proud to see the President sign this important legislation into law," Quayle says in a statement. "For too long, criminal cartels have been able to construct and use illegal cross-border tunnels to smuggle weapons, drugs, and people across our border, without facing adequately harsh consequences."
Quayle, of "Barack Obama is the worst president in history" fame, recently said he "overestimated" the president when he called him the worst ever.
For now, though, Quayle and Obama actually agree on something, and both Quayle and the White House are qualifying this legislation as a we're doing something about the border bill.
The White House says it's "one more step in the Obama Administration's efforts to strengthen our nation's border security," while Quayle calls it "an important step in our efforts to secure our Southern border."
According to the Congressional Budget Office, the legislation establishes a new law against building or using a tunnel into the United States from any country, the thought being that the feds can now prosecute criminal cases they couldn't prosecute before.
The CBO adds that the new law "would apply to a relatively small number of additional offenders."
The language of the bill adds that anyone who "attempts or conspires to" build or use a tunnel is subject to the same penalties for anyone who actually does build or use one of the border tunnels.
Quayle previously had called the penalties for crimes related to border tunnels "absurdly low."
Just four House members voted against the bill, with all of Arizona's delegation voting for it. Quayle was the bill's lone Arizona sponsor.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Phoenix New Times' biggest stories.