State Capitol News
9:49 am
Fri February 24, 2012

Gov Brewer Not Interested in Speaking to Senate Committee

A US Senator invited Governor Jan Brewer on Thursday to testify at his committee about the state's immigration law. 

Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) heads the Subcommittee on Immigration, Refugees and Border Security. He also is the author of 2010 legislation that provided $600 million to increase funding for the Border Patrol. The senator said that has made the border far more secure. So Schumer sent a letter to Brewer wanting her to explain why she signed SB 1070 that same year -- and -- quote -- whether you believe SB 1070 is necessary in light of the substantially increased security situation along our southern border. Schumer even agreed to make the hearing convenient -- one day before the governor is already scheduled to be in Washington to hear the Supreme Court debate the legality of the law. But Brewer press aide Matthew Benson said his boss sees no reason to spend her time talking to Schumer's committee.

"Congressional inaction by the likes of Sen. Schumer is exactly the reason SB 1070 and other laws like it were necessary in the first place," said Benson. "They've had years to deal with this issue. They haven't."

Benson called the hearing and the invitation to Brewer a publicity stunt. But he said that label does not apply to the governor's own taxpayer funded trip that week to sit silent in the courtroom for the legal arguments and then have a press conference in front of the court building.

"She wants to see for herself  how that hearing goes down and what the arguments look like," he said.