Posted originally on the conservative tree house on September 19, 2021 | Sundance | 90 Comments
It sounds obvious on its face, you cannot consider immigration reform as a spending bill, but that’s what the Democrats were attempting to do regardless of the constitutional limits. Immigration reform is not a spending issue, and the Senate parliamentarian has denied the scheme by Senate Democrats in their $3.5 trillion “human infrastructure” bill. (pic: migrant caravan)
WASHINGTON (AP) — Democrats can’t use their $3.5 trillion package bolstering social and climate programs for their plan to give millions of immigrants a chance to become citizens, the Senate’s parliamentarian said late Sunday, a crushing blow to what was the party’s clearest pathway in years to attaining that long-sought goal.
The decision by Elizabeth MacDonough, the Senate’s nonpartisan interpreter of its often enigmatic rules, is a damaging and disheartening setback for President Joe Biden, congressional Democrats and their allies in the pro-immigration and progressive communities. It badly wounds Democrats’ hopes of unilaterally enacting — over Republican opposition — changes letting several categories of immigrants gain permanent residence and possibly citizenship.
The parliamentarian opinion is crucial because it means the immigration provisions could not be included in an immense $3.5 trillion measure that’s been shielded from GOP filibusters. Left vulnerable to those bill-killing delays, which require 60 Senate votes to defuse, the immigration language has virtually no chance in the 50-50 Senate.
In a three-page memo to senators obtained by The Associated Press, MacDonough noted that under Senate rules, provisions are not allowed in such bills if their budget effect is “merely incidental” to their overall policy impact. (read more)