In a massive defeat for the Democratic Party’s agenda, the parliamentarian of the United States Senate determined that amnesty for illegal aliens could not be included in the proposed budget reconciliation bill, Politico reports.
The parliamentarian declared on Sunday that amnesty, along with any other proposal involving immigration, is “by any standard a broad, new immigration policy,” where the proposed policy itself “substantially outweighs the budgetary impact of that change.”
Democrats had planned to enact sweeping agenda items in the reconciliation bill, which would cost up to an estimate of $3.5 trillion. Because it would be through the process of reconciliation, the bill cannot be filibustered and thus could pass with just 50 votes, with Vice President Kamala Harris breaking the tie. However, the rules of the Senate dictate that reconciliation bills must deal strictly with matters related to the federal budget and proposed spending, and thus cannot simply be an outlet for passing any given policy as the Senate would in a regular bill.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said that Democrats are “deeply disappointed in the decision,” but plan to come up with other workaround methods to sneak immigration measures into the bill. Schumer then made multiple false statements about immigration in defense of illegals, falsely claiming that “our economy depends more than ever on immigrants,” while also incorrectly stating that illegal aliens are “paying their fair share of taxes.”
A spokesperson for the Biden Administration reaffirmed that the White House supports “efforts by Congress to include a pathway to citizenship in the reconciliation package, and is grateful to Congressional leadership for all of the work they are doing to make this a reality.”
Democrats previously tried to justify amnesty in the reconciliation bill by claiming that legalizing 8 million illegals applied to the budget because it would increase the number of people dependent on federal handouts, and would subsequently increase the federal deficit by $130 billion. But the parliamentarian disagreed, pointing out that such a policy would also result in “other, life-changing federal, state, and societal benefits” that ultimately can’t be determined in the budget.