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Politics Senate parliamentarian deals blow to Dems' immigration push

07:50  20 september  2021
07:50  20 september  2021 Source:   msn.com

Could sweeping changes be coming to immigration laws? Advocates for citizenship changes hope budget bill is the answer

  Could sweeping changes be coming to immigration laws? Advocates for citizenship changes hope budget bill is the answer Advocates who have pushed for decades for changes to the nation's immigration laws see the Democrats' $3.5 trillion budget bill as an opportunity.Success has been elusive, but advocates and some members of Congress see the $3.5 trillion budget bill that Democrats and President Joe Biden want to pass this fall as one of their best bets of passing sweeping changes to the nation's immigration laws.

The parliamentarian opinion is crucial because it means the immigration provisions could not be included in an immense .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 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. Citing sweeping changes that Democrats would make in immigrants ' lives, MacDonough, a

The Senate 's nonpartisan parliamentarian says Democrats can’t use their .5 trillion package bolstering social and climate programs to give millions of immigrants a chance to become citizens. The parliamentarian opinion that emerged Sunday is crucial because it means the immigration provisions could not be included in an immense .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 .

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, a crushing blow to what was the party’s clearest pathway in years to attaining that long-sought goal.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., speaks to reporters as work continues on the Democrats' Build Back Better Act, massive legislation that is a cornerstone of President Joe Biden's domestic agenda, at the Capitol, in Washington, Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik) © Provided by Associated Press Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., speaks to reporters as work continues on the Democrats' Build Back Better Act, massive legislation that is a cornerstone of President Joe Biden's domestic agenda, at the Capitol, in Washington, Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

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. Though they said they’d offer her fresh alternatives, MacDonough’s stance badly wounds their hopes of unilaterally enacting — over Republican opposition — changes letting several categories of immigrants gain permanent residence and possibly citizenship.

Democrats Dealt a Blow on Immigration Plans

  Democrats Dealt a Blow on Immigration Plans WASHINGTON — The Senate parliamentarian dealt a major setback on Sunday to Democrats’ plan to use their $3.5 trillion social policy bill to create a path to citizenship for an estimated 8 million undocumented immigrants. WASHINGTON — The Senate parliamentarian dealt a major setback on Sunday to Democrats’ plan to use their $3.5 trillion social policy bill to create a path to citizenship for an estimated 8 million undocumented immigrants.

The Senate 's nonpartisan parliamentarian says Democrats can’t use their .5 trillion package bolstering social and climate programs to give millions of immigrants a chance to become citizens. 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.

As the Associated Press noted, the Senate parliamentarian said, “Democrats can’t use their .5 trillion package bolstering social and climate programs to give millions of immigrants a chance to become citizens, a crushing blow to what was the party’s clearest pathway in years to attaining that “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,” noted the Associated Press (AP).

In this Sept. 14, 2021 photo, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., speaks to reporters at the Capitol in Washington. McConnell has warned Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen he is not budging on his demand that Democrats go it alone on the federal debt limit, deepening the emerging standoff in Congress over how to boost the government's borrowing authority. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) © Provided by Associated Press In this Sept. 14, 2021 photo, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., speaks to reporters at the Capitol in Washington. McConnell has warned Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen he is not budging on his demand that Democrats go it alone on the federal debt limit, deepening the emerging standoff in Congress over how to boost the government's borrowing authority. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

The parliamentarian opinion that emerged Sunday 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.

Senate parliamentarian rules against amnesty in Democrats' reconciliation bill

  Senate parliamentarian rules against amnesty in Democrats' reconciliation bill The Senate parliamentarian has issued a ruling saying that provisions giving an estimated 8 million illegal immigrants and non-citizens legal permanent resident status and a pathway to citizenship could not be included in Democrats’ go-it-alone “Build Back Better” budget reconciliation legislation. © Provided by Washington Examiner In her ruling on Sunday, Senate Parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough, who previously worked for the Department of Justice handling immigration cases, said that “the policy changes of this proposal far outweigh the budgetary impact scored to it and it is not appropriate for inclusion in reconci

New guidance from the Senate parliamentarian makes it unlikely Senate Democrats will be able to include immigration in their .5 trillion bill to expand the country's social safety net.

The Senate parliamentarian on Sunday rejected Democrats’ push to include a pathway to legal status in their social spending plan, a blow to the party’s efforts to enact immigration reform. In their arguments before the Senate parliamentarian , a former immigration attorney, Democrats made the case that providing green cards to an estimated 8 million Dreamers, farmworkers, Temporary Protected Status recipients and essential workers during the pandemic had a budgetary impact because it would make more people eligible for certain federal benefits.

Dozens of dump trucks form a barrier as security measures are put into place before a rally near the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021. The rally was planned by allies of former President Donald Trump and aimed at supporting the so-called © Provided by Associated Press Dozens of dump trucks form a barrier as security measures are put into place before a rally near the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021. The rally was planned by allies of former President Donald Trump and aimed at supporting the so-called "political prisoners" of the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. (AP Photo/Gemunu Amarasinghe)

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.

Citing sweeping changes that Democrats would make in immigrants’ lives, MacDonough, a one-time immigration attorney, said the language “is by any standard a broad, new immigration policy.”

The rejected provisions would open multiyear doorways to legal permanent residence — and perhaps citizenship — for young immigrants brought illegally to the country as children, often called “Dreamers.” Also included would be immigrants with Temporary Protected Status who’ve fled countries stricken by natural disasters or extreme violence; essential workers and farm workers.

Who Is the Senate Parliamentarian? How an Unelected Official Is Influencing Biden's Agenda

  Who Is the Senate Parliamentarian? How an Unelected Official Is Influencing Biden's Agenda The parliamentarian advised that a provision to provide a pathway to citizenship for millions of immigrants can't be included in budget reconciliation.Elizabeth MacDonough said Sunday that the immigration provision couldn't be included in the party's sprawling $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation bill, which will be shielded from Republican filibusters.

Senate Democrats met with the Senate Parliamentarian about including an immigration provision in the .5 trillion budget reconciliation process, which they're aiming to pass with no GOP support. CBS News immigration reporter Camilo Montoya Galvez joins "CBSN AM" with the latest on immigration reform.

Senate Parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough has reportedly ruled that Democrats’ plan to slip a massive amnesty for millions of illegal aliens into a budget reconciliation package is outside the scope of budgetary matters, likely crushing the plan. On Sunday evening, MacDonough ruled the amnesty plan can likely not be included in a budget reconciliation package — a filibuster-proof maneuver that only needs majority support in the Senate . “Changing the law to clear the way to [lawful permanent resident] status is tremendous and enduring policy change that dwarfs its budgetary impact

Estimates vary because many people can be in more than one category, but the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office says 8 million people would be helped by the Democratic effort, MacDonough said. Biden had originally proposed a broader drive that would have affected 11 million immigrants.

Democrats and their pro-immigration allies have said they will offer alternative approaches to MacDonough that would open a doorway to permanent status to at least some immigrants.

“We are deeply disappointed in this decision but the fight to provide lawful status for immigrants in budget reconciliation continues,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said in a written statement. “Senate Democrats have prepared alternate proposals and will be holding additional meetings with the Senate parliamentarian in the coming days.”

“A path to permanent residency and citizenship has a significant budgetary impact, great bipartisan support, and above all it is critical to America’s recovery,” said Kerri Talbot, deputy director of the Immigration Hub, a group of pro-immigration strategists. She said work would continue “to ensure that millions of undocumented immigrants can have lasting protections.”

Democrats reject hardball tactics against Senate parliamentarian

  Democrats reject hardball tactics against Senate parliamentarian Democrats are rejecting calls to overrule the Senate parliamentarian despite the bleak reality that, absent a breakthrough, they likely won't be able to get a pathway to citizenship for millions of immigrants to President Biden's desk given her unfavorable ruling.Senate Parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough's decision that the immigration plan was "not appropriate" under the rules governing the $3.5 trillion spending bill dealt a significant blow to Democratic hopes of achieving meaningful immigration reform.

The parliamentarian’s ruling was riling progressives at a time when Democratic leaders will need virtually every vote in Congress from their party to approve a 10-year, $3.5 trillion bill that embodies Biden’s top domestic goals.

It also comes with Republicans already signaling that they will use immigration, linking it to some voters’ fears of crime, as a top issue in next year’s campaigns for control of the House and Senate. The issue has gained attention in a year when huge numbers of immigrants have been encountered trying to cross the Southwest border.

FILE - In this Sept. 10, 2021, President Joe Biden, with first lady Jill Biden, speaks during a visit at Brookland Middle School in northeast Washington. Biden has encouraged every school district to promote vaccines, including with on-site clinics, to protect students as they return to school amid a resurgence of the coronavirus. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File) © Provided by Associated Press FILE - In this Sept. 10, 2021, President Joe Biden, with first lady Jill Biden, speaks during a visit at Brookland Middle School in northeast Washington. Biden has encouraged every school district to promote vaccines, including with on-site clinics, to protect students as they return to school amid a resurgence of the coronavirus. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)

“Democratic leaders refused to resist their progressive base and stand up for the rule of law, even though our border has never been less secure,” said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. He said putting the provisions into filibuster-protected budget measure was “inappropriate and I’m glad it failed.”

Dems, backers face uphill immigration path after Senate blow

  Dems, backers face uphill immigration path after Senate blow WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Democrats launched an uphill fight to rescue their drive to help millions of immigrants remain legally in the U.S., their pathway unclear and the uncertainty exposing tensions between party leaders and progressive groups demanding bold results. Lawmakers and advocacy organizations said Monday they were already weighing fresh options, a day after the Senate parliamentarian said their sweeping proposal must fall from a $3.5 trillion measure that's shielded against bill-killing Republican filibusters.

In fact, both parties have stretched the use of the special budget protections over the years. Democrats used them to enact President Barack Obama’s 2010 health care law, and Republicans used them during their failed 2017 drive to repeal that statute.

“It would have led to an increased run on the border — beyond the chaos we already have there today,” said the Senate Budget Committee’s top Republican, South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham.

One alternative advocates have said they’re exploring would be to update a “registry” date that allows some immigrants in the U.S. by that time to become permanent residents if they meet certain conditions. But it was unclear if they would pursue that option or how the parliamentarian would rule.

White House spokesperson Vedant Patel called the parliamentarian’s decision disappointing but said senators would offer new immigration ideas.

MacDonough cited a CBO estimate that Democrats’ proposals would increase federal deficits by $140 billion over the coming decade. That is largely because of federal benefits the immigrants would qualify for.

But that fiscal impact, wrote MacDonough, was overshadowed by improvements the Democratic effort would make for immigrants’ lives.

“Many undocumented persons live and work in the shadows of our society out of fear of deportation,” she said. Permanent legal status would grant them “freedom to work, freedom to travel, freedom to live openly in our society in any state in the nation, and to reunite with their families and it would make them eligible, in time, to apply for citizenship — things for which there is no federal fiscal equivalent.”

That, she wrote, “is tremendous and enduring policy change that dwarfs its budgetary impact.”

Democrats and a handful of GOP allies have made halting progress during the past two decades toward legislation that would help millions of immigrants gain permanent legal status in the U.S. Ultimately, they’ve been thwarted each time by broad Republican opposition.

The House has approved separate bills this year achieving much of that, but the measures have gone nowhere in the Senate because of Republican filibusters.

The overall $3.5 trillion bill would boost spending for social safety net, environment and other programs and largely finance the initiatives with tax increases on the rich and corporations.

Progressive and moderate Democrats are battling over the measure’s price tag and details. Party leaders can’t lose any Democratic votes in the 50-50 Senate and can lose no more than three in the House.

MacDonough was appointed in 2012 when Democrats controlled the chamber and is respected as an even-handed arbiter of Senate rules.

Earlier this year, one of her rulings forced Democrats to remove a minimum wage increase from a COVID-19 relief bill, killing another top progressive priority.

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AP Congressional Correspondent Lisa Mascaro and AP writer Alexandra Jaffe contributed to this report.

Senate parliamentarian rejects Democrats' second attempt to include immigration in economic bill .
The Senate Parliamentarian on Wednesday rejected Democrats' second attempt to try to include a pathway to legalization for immigrants in a bill that could be passed with just Democratic support, a source tells CNN. © Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images The Capitol dome is seen early Wednesday morning before Amb. William Taylor And Deputy Assistant Secretary Of State George Kent testify at the first public impeachment hearing before the House Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill November 13, 2019 in Washington, DC.

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