WASHINGTON (Nexstar) — Late Sunday evening, the Senate parliamentarian ruled Democrats cannot include sweeping immigration reform measures in their budget proposal using reconciliation because the measure isn’t really about the budget.
It’s a huge blow to Senate Democrats.
On Twitter, Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin said, “I am deeply disappointed in the Parliamentarian’s decision … but the fight for immigration reform will continue.”
Democrats were hoping to provide a road to citizenship to about 8 million people, including Dreamers, TPS recipients and pandemic essential workers through reconciliation. That would have allowed them to pass the immigration bill with only 50 votes — and no Republican support.
Durbin also said Democrats prepared an alternative proposal for the parliamentarian. But in her ruling, she siad any budget effect of the immigration measure was “merely incidental” to the overall policy impact.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said he’s “glad Democrats failed in their effort to shove massive amnesty into the reckless taxing and spending.”
The ruling means passing immigration reform outside of the reconciliation package will be next to impossible because the bill would require 60 votes in the Senate — meaning 10 Republicans would have to support the measure.
And that is very unlikely.