Senate parliamentarian foils Dems' plan to include green cards (and path to citizenship) for 8 million illegals in reconciliation legislation

The Democrats are trying to alter the basic nature of our Republic with the slimmest of congressional majorities.  This alone violates the long-held understanding that serious long-term changes properly ought to be supported by both parties.  But, in trying to bypass Senate filibuster rules by including extraneous legislation under the rubric of "budget reconciliation," they have run into an obstacle from the nonpartisan Senate parliamentarian, who did not buy their argument that legalizing 8 million people is mostly about the budget.  Marianne Levine writes in Politico:

The Senate parliamentarian on Sunday rejected Democrats' push to include a pathway to legal status in their social spending plan, a blow to the party's efforts to enact immigration reform.

In the decision, a copy of which was obtained by POLITICO, the parliamentarian determined that the Democrats' proposal is "by any standard a broad, new immigration policy" and that the policy change "substantially outweighs the budgetary impact of that change." (snip)

In their arguments before the Senate parliamentarian, a former immigration attorney, Democrats made the case that providing green cards to an estimated 8 million Dreamers, farmworkers, Temporary Protected Status recipients and essential workers during the pandemic had a budgetary impact because it would make more people eligible for certain federal benefits. That, in turn, would increase the deficit by more than $130 billion, according to Democratic estimates.

But the parliamentarian stated in her ruling that providing legal status through reconciliation would also lead to "other, life-changing federal, state and societal benefits" that can't be meaningfully reflected in the budget.

The Parliamentarian's name is Elizabeth McDonough, and she has done her duty without fear or favor.  Via The Hill:

MacDonough, in her guidance, warned that the Democratic plan doesn't meet the strict rules on what can be in the spending bill, calling the plan "by any standard a broad, new immigration policy."

"The policy changes of this proposal far outweigh the budgetary impact scored to it and it is not appropriate for inclusion in reconciliation," she wrote in the ruling obtained by The Hill, referring to the budget process Democrats are using to avoid the Senate filibuster. (snip)

"Changing the law to clear the way ... is tremendous and enduring policy change that dwarfs its budgetary impact," she added.

The Dems, naturally, are not giving up, any more than rust ever goes to sleep.  Politico:

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said Sunday evening that Democrats are "deeply disappointed in the decision" but plan to meet with the Senate parliamentarian in the coming days and pursue other options.

"Our economy depends more than ever on immigrants," Schumer said. "Despite putting their lives on the line during the pandemic and paying their fair share of taxes, they remain locked out of the federal assistance that served as a lifeline for so many families. We will continue fighting to pursue the best path forward to grant them the ability to obtain lawful status."

Schumer's remarks were echoed by Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Sen. Alex Padilla (D-Calif.). A White House spokesperson reiterated that President Joe Biden "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."

Once again, a last-minute reprieve has at least temporarily foiled an evil plan of the Democrats, in this case, to flood the voting rolls with new voters who they believe will favor their permanent power.  It's not a permanent victory, but then again, the defense of liberty is a full-time job with no extended vacations.

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