Monday was U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar’s first day back at work in a month, and the radical Minnesotan caused controversy from the start.
On Sunday night, Senate Parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough ruled that Democrats cannot include a pathway to citizenship for illegal aliens within their latest budget reconciliation package.
But because Omar deems this measure a “once in a lifetime opportunity to do the right thing,” she is demanding Senate leadership and the White House overstep and violate laws.
We can’t miss this once in a lifetime opportunity to do the right thing. https://t.co/r1T7T7uQIP
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) September 20, 2021
MacDonough determined that the provision fell outside the scope of what is permitted in a reconciliation bill. As part of her memo, the interpreter of Senate rules said the provision was “a policy change that substantially outweighs the budgetary impact of that change,” since it changes the immigration status of over 8 million people.
“Permitting this provision in reconciliation would set a precedent that could be used to argue that rescinding any immigration status from anyone — not just those who obtain LPR status by virtue of this provision — would be permissible because the policy of stripping status from any immigrant does not vastly outweigh whatever budgetary impact there might be,” MacDonough added. She then also cited a CBO estimate that Democrats’ proposals would increase the deficit by $140 billion in the coming decade.
Instead of accepting reality, Democrats pushed forward.
The White House continues to support efforts to include immigration measures in the bill.
“The President has made very clear that he 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,” a White House spokesperson told Axios.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki added more confusion during her Monday press briefing.
A) WH's Psaki on the Parliamentarian not including immigration in the reconciliation bill: There are a number of senators who have spoken to their intention of putting forward alternative proposals because of their commitment and our shared commitment
— Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) September 20, 2021
Republicans are pleased with the ruling.
“It would have led to an increased run on the border – beyond the chaos we already have there today,” South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, the Senate Budget Committee’s top Republican, explained.
The Parliamentarian’s guidance reinforces long held traditions of the Senate that major policy changes should be done collaboratively and not through the reconciliation process.
This decision reinforces the fact that the Senate is truly different than the House.
— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) September 20, 2021