If you're going to send a "Dear Colleague" letter to every legislative director in the Senate, you probably should make sure that it describes policies crafted by those staffers accurately.
That was the lesson learned this week by freshman Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, who, along with three colleagues, sent a letter opposing the immigration bill and outlining policies that made the legislation worse.
Among the policies highlighted were two provisions from Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., both of which were mischaracterized.
Here are screen grabs of the original letter and the updated version, both distributed to offices on Tuesday and obtained by WGDB.
Original text (click images for larger type):
"Coons 9" was removed from the original version of the letter because that amendment actually was used as a shell to amend another Coons measure, "Coons 1." Coons 1 was an amendment related to the e-verify system to try to curb abuse and reduce potential identity theft of individuals' e-verify records. The "Coons 2" entry was altered from the original letter to clarify what the amendment actually did.
"Revisions were made to accommodate requests from Sen. Coons' staff," a Cruz spokesman confirmed. Coons' office would not comment on the letter.
The letters were sent by Cruz and Republican Sens. Jeff Sessions of Alabama, Mike Lee of Utah and Charles E. Grassley of Iowa, to express their opposition to the bipartisan "gang of eight" bill approved 13-5 out of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
"If passed, S. 744 will leave our borders unsecure and our immigration system deeply dysfunctional," the letter reads. "The bill's already serious flaws were exacerbated by the adoption of several amendments that significantly weaken current law, hamstring law enforcement and further complicate our legal immigration system. We were thus left no choice but to oppose the bill."