A handful of moderate Democrats have joined Republicans in criticizing the size and scope of a $3.5 trillion spending bill being pushed by the Biden administration.
Although the package did include bold provisions described by critics as amnesty for undocumented immigrants, the Senate parliamentarian stepped in this week to strip such language from the bill.
“Deeply disappointed in this decision”
The behemoth bill is being pushed through the reconciliation process, which would allow it to pass with just a majority of the vote on Capitol Hill. As such, it comes with some limitations, and the parliamentarian’s decision reflected as much.
Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) issued a statement expressing his opposition to the latest development.
“We are deeply disappointed in this decision but the fight to provide lawful status for immigrants in budget reconciliation continues,” he said. “We will continue fighting to pursue the best path forward to grant them the ability to obtain lawful status.”
On the other hand, Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said the parliamentarian’s determination was justified under the current political circumstances.
“Senate rules never contemplated a majority circumventing the filibuster by pretending that sweeping and transformational new policies were mere budgetary changes,” he argued. “Democrats will not be able to stuff their most radical amnesty proposals into the reckless taxing and spending spree they are assembling behind closed doors.”
“Far-left wish list”
McConnell determined that the ploy “just illustrates how radical Democrats’ aspirations are and how unmoored their far-left wish list has become from the procedures they want to use to ram it through.”
Of course, even the forced removal of controversial immigration policies from the budget reconciliation bill does not mean the end of either the legislation or the left’s push for amnesty.
An updated spending bill is expected to be presented to the Senate for a vote and the immigration proposals will be relegated to a separate piece of legislation.
Meanwhile, the immigration policy along the U.S.-Mexico border continues to rage as more than 200,000 people have been reported crossing the border illegally in each of the past two months.
Although Democrats have a narrow majority in Congress, amnesty remains a hot-button issue with an uncertain future. With Republicans poised to regain control of the legislative branch after next year’s midterm elections, Democrats will likely need to move fast to present and pass while they are still in charge.