Monday, September 20, 2021

Did Immigration Reform Die Last Night? Senate Parliamentarian Nixes Dems Plan to Use Budget Reconciliation


Senate Parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)


Did the clock just run out on the possibility of meaningful immigration reform? Could be, maybe.  A budget reconciliation bill had been what appeared to be the last hope.

CNN reports that Senate Democrats likely will not be able to include a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants in their $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation bill after a Senate parliamentarian ruling last night.

The three page ruling finds that the effort to include immigration in the economic package was out of order.  It had been a last chance for Democrats to pass immigration reform in President Joe Biden's first year in office.
Parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough wrote in her ruling, "Changing the law to clear the way to (Legal Permanent Resident) status is tremendous and enduring policy change that dwarfs its budgetary impact."
In the decision, a copy of which was obtained by POLITICO, the parliamentarian determined that the Democrats’ proposal is “by any standard a broad, new immigration policy” and that the immigration policy change “substantially outweighs the budgetary impact of that change.”


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