Two Senators will soon be leaving office – both of which were counted as supporters of immigration legislation including legislation for foreign nurses.
Sen. Mel Martinez (R-FL) announced that he stepping down as senator. He cited personal reasons for his resignation: a time to spend more time with his family. This comes less than two weeks after Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson announced that she will step down from her Senate seat to run for Governor of Texas.
Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson has been a strong supporter of foreign nurse legislation. The timing of her departure is unfortunate, as her vote is needed for Schedule A legislation. It is expected that she will leave office in October or November, leaving room for a temporary successor until next years’ election.
Martinez is a native of Cuba. During his 5 year tenure in office he has been a supporter of immigration issues including foreign nurse legislation when tied to other immigration provisions. He was the co-sponsor of the comprehensive immigration reform legislation in 2006 along with Senator Hagel.
Meanwhile, Senate Immigration Subcommittee Chair Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said he will unveil a proposal for immigration reform and amnesty after the summer recess. While the battle over health care reform has been the top agenda, Schumer declares to launch at least an outline of his plan, if not proposed legislation. Yet it’s unlikely that any legislation – comprehensive immigration or Schedule A legislation – will be voted on before Hutchinson and Martinez leave office.