(Big League Politics) – The parliamentarian of the US Senate has issued a ruling declaring that an amnesty provision for millions of illegal aliens can’t be passed through the use of budget reconciliation, a legislative move allowing the Senate to pass laws with only 50 votes as opposed to 60.
Politico reported on Sunday that parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough ruled that the amnesty provision is not a budget-related matter, and thus cannot be included in legislation passable through use of budget reconciliation. The Democrat amnesty provision would’ve granted a quick path to citizenship for as many as eight million illegal immigrants broadly designated as “essential workers” under the giveaway scheme.
Democrats had sought to use the legislative trick to ram through a massive amnesty, unable to give away citizenship to illegal immigrants in a bill that would require 60 votes in the Senate.
It’s possible that the Democratic Party could still try to pass a budget with an amnesty provision, but it’s likely that the attempt would’ve met scrutiny from the Supreme Court or a lower court even if the Senate Parliamentarian had allowed it. The Senate parliamentarian ruling also makes it less likely that Democrats captive to conservative-leaning constituencies, such as Arizona’s Mark Kelly and Kyrsten Sinema, will be willing to go along with attaching amnesty to an already broad, multibillion-dollar budget package including many of Biden’s campaign promises related to infrastructure and social programs.
Congressional Republicans praised the parliamentarian’s decision Sunday. Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley, the top Republican on the Judiciary Committee, tweeted that the parliamentarian “confirmed [the] obvious: mass amnesty for millions of illegal immigrants isn’t a budgetary issue appropriate for reconciliation.” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) added, “Senate rules never contemplated a majority circumventing the filibuster by pretending that sweeping and transformational new policies were mere budgetary changes.”
“After decades of failing to enact their amnesty agenda, Democrats tried this latest unprecedented gambit,” McConnell said. “It was inappropriate and I’m glad it failed.”