President Joe Biden and those Democrats looking to sneak an amnesty provision into a budget resolution just ran into a roadblock.
Fox News reports that Elizabeth MacDounough, the Senate parliamentarian, has ruled that an amnesty provision cannot be included in the budget resolution.
It’s been decided
MacDonough announced her decision on Sunday. She based it on something that the Democrats hoped she would ignore, namely the glaring fact that amnesty for illegal immigrants is not, primarily, a budgetary issue.
“Changing the law to clear the way to [lawful permanent resident] status is a tremendous and enduring policy change that dwarfs its budgetary impact,” MacDonough wrote in her decision.
Speaking of its budgetary impact, MacDonough did highlight it in her opinion. She noted how the Congressional Budget Office has estimated that 8 million people (including about 7 million illegal aliens) would be given legal permanent residence status under the Democrats’ proposal, which would increase the U.S. deficit by $140 billion over the next 10 years.
Nonetheless, MacDonough ruled that this budgetary impact is “dwarfed” by its non-budgetary impact, which she also elaborated on in her decision.
This all has to do with the $3.5 trillion budget resolution that the Democrats are currently trying to push through Congress using reconciliation.
Reconciliation, essentially, eliminates the Senate filibuster by lowering the 60 vote threshold to a simple majority of 51. In other words, it obviates the need for Senate Republican support. But, the catch is that reconciliation is only allowed for budgetary matters.
Last week, the Democrats held a hearing in which they tried to convince MacDonough that amnesty is primarily a budgetary matter. But, she obviously didn’t buy their arguments. The Democrats, though, are not giving up just yet.
Following the release of MacDonough’s decision, Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) put out a statement saying that he was “deeply disappointed.” Schumer, though, also vowed to find another way to include an amnesty provision in the budget resolution.
“Senate Democrats have prepared alternate proposals and will be holding additional meetings with the Senate parliamentarian in the coming days,” Schumer said.
Some of the more radical Democrats, such as Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) are urging Schumer to simply disregard MacDonough’s opinion. For now, though, it appears that Schumer will play by the rules.