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September 20, 2021

Senate Parliamentarian Rules That Amnesty Cannot Be Added Into Spending Bill Via Reconciliation

Reconciliation is the process the Democrats were hoping to use to jam in a mass amnesty for illegals without any Republican votes.

There's a special rule that you can "reconcile" somewhat differing Senate and House bills without having to send each bill individually back to their respective houses for repassage. Wrong: Commenters point out the bills do have to go back to their respective houses for final passage, but there is no filibuster allowed on that vote.

But the differences to be "reconciled" must concern spending and taxation.

The Democrats attempted to slip an amnesty bill through the 50-50 Senate by claiming that the incidental changes in spending which would be caused by amnestying 8 million or more illegals counted as "spending," and so could be jammed into the "infrastructure" bill via reconcilliation.

The Senate parliamentarian ruled that this is against the rules and cannot be done.

Democrats can't use their $3.5 trillion package bolstering social and climate programs for their plan to give millions of immigrants a chance to become citizens, the Senate's parliamentarian said, a crushing blow to what was the party's clearest pathway in years to attaining that long-sought goal.

The decision by Elizabeth MacDonough, the Senate’s nonpartisan interpreter of its often enigmatic rules, is a damaging and disheartening setback for President Joe Biden, congressional Democrats and their allies in the pro-immigration and progressive communities. Though they said they'd offer her fresh alternatives, MacDonough's stance badly wounds their hopes of unilaterally enacting -- over Republican opposition -- changes letting several categories of immigrants gain permanent residence and possibly citizenship.

The parliamentarian opinion that emerged Sunday is crucial because it means the immigration provisions could not be included in an immense $3.5 trillion measure that's been shielded from GOP filibusters. Left vulnerable to those bill-killing delays, which require 60 Senate votes to defuse, the immigration language has virtually no chance in the 50-50 Senate.

In a three-page memo to senators obtained by The Associated Press, MacDonough noted that under Senate rules, provisions are not allowed in such bills if their budget effect is "merely incidental" to their overall policy impact.

Citing sweeping changes that Democrats would make in immigrants' lives, MacDonough, a one-time immigration attorney, said the language "is by any standard a broad, new immigration policy."

The rejected provisions would open multiyear doorways to legal permanent residence -- and perhaps citizenship -- for young immigrants brought illegally to the country as children, often called "Dreamers." Also included would be immigrants with Temporary Protected Status who've fled countries stricken by natural disasters or extreme violence; essential workers and farm workers.

I still think the Democrats could vote 50 strong -- with Kumala's tie-breaker -- to overrule the Parliamentarian. I also think they could just fire her.

I don't think Manchin would vote with them on that.

Still, they tried to break the rules, again. To end American sovereignty.

Are you enjoying your Restored Norms?


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posted by Ace at 12:20 PM

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