It was reported late on Sunday night by the Associated Press that the Senate parliamentarian has let it be known that Democrats cannot include a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants in their massive $3.5 trillion social spending bill.
Chad Pergram from Fox News also later confirmed the report. He wrote: “A preliminary ruling from Senate Parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough, obtained by Fox, would bar Democrats from adding immigration provisions to the $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill.”
Pergram also noted that because Democrats did not have a firm legislative text or a total price tag for the bill, it would be hard to see how there could be an absolute ruling on this issue. He added to the report, “But, budget reconciliation bills, which Democrats were using to avoid a filibuster, must be strictly fiscal in nature and can’t add to the deficit. It was believed that this push to add immigration to the bill was too policy-driven.”
Several media sources agree that this is a blow to both Democrats and progressives who pushed to add immigration provisions to the bill. This decision will no doubt cause problems for Democrats if they are forced to cut the total size of the proposed legislation. They will feel pressure to placate the moderate side of the party.
The Fox News report indicated that it was thought that putting immigration provisions into the bill would placate the liberals if trimming the size of the legislation was necessary.
According to Pergram, the key section of MacDonough’s decision was that including immigration as part of reconciliation “is further evidence that the policy changes of this proposal far outweigh the budgetary impact scored to it and it is not appropriate for inclusion in reconciliation.”
This news followed a report from Axios on Sunday afternoon that indicated that Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) wanted to delay voting on President Biden’s $3.5 leftist wish list until 2022. Manchin is one of the most powerful Democrats on the Hill. He keeps a moderate policy stance in a 50-50 split Senate.
If Manchin insists on his proposed timeline, it would certainly disrupt the plans House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) have to vote on the budget reconciliation package this month.
According to the Axios report, any delay from Manchin, who is certainly not a part of the left-wing of the party, could kill the House passage of the separate $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill. Pelosi previously promised to pass this bill by Sept. 27.
The president has apparently called Manchin in the past and told him concerning the Democrat’s coronavirus stimulus bill, “If you don’t come along, you’re really f***ing me.”
But Manchin is not alone. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) has been surprisingly more moderate than most ever thought she would be. And she is also reportedly opposed to Biden’s massive bill.
The president’s attempt to pass the $3.5 trillion bill comes at the same time that inflation has skyrocketed under his leadership. And it follows trillions in spending that has taken place in just a matter of months with Democrats in control of the federal government.
Believe it or not, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), complained on CBS News on Sunday morning that the $3.5 trillion was way too low. He and the far-left were forced to cut back from the $6 trillion bill that they wanted.
“Look, right now what we are doing is we are engaging with the House and the Senate,” Sanders said. “It is a complicated proposal. All I am telling you is the $3.5 trillion is much too low. A compromise has already been made; an agreement has been made.”