An Associated Press report stated on Sunday that the Senate parliamentarian declared that Democrats cannot include a pathway to citizenship for illegal aliens in their enormous $3.5 trillion social-spending bill.
Fox News congressional correspondent Chad Pergram confirmed the report, writing: “A preliminary ruling from Senate Parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough, obtained by Fox, would bar Democrats from adding immigration provisions to the $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill.”
“Democrats did not have firm legislative text nor a total price tag for the bill. So it’s hard to see how there is an absolute ruling on this,” Pergram said. “But, budget reconciliation bills, which Democrats were using to avoid a filibuster, must be strictly fiscal in nature and can’t add to the deficit. It was believed that this push to add immigration to the bill was too policy driven.”
“This is a blow to Democrats and progressives who pushed to add immigration provisions to the bill. This will cause problems if Democrats have to slash the total size of the legislation to mollify moderate Democrats,” Pergram added. “It was thought that lopping immigration provisions into the bill could help placate liberals if Democrats have to trim the size of the legislation.”
Pergram said that the basis of MacDonough's decision was that including immigration as part of reconciliation “is further evidence that the policy changes of this proposal far outweigh the budgetary impact scored to it and it is not appropriate for inclusion in reconciliation.”
The news comes after Axios reported on Sunday afternoon that Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin wanted to delay voting on Biden’s $3.5 trillion bill until 2022, CNN reported.
“Manchin’s new timeline — if he insists on it — would disrupt the plans by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) to vote on the budget reconciliation package this month,” Axios reported.
The report said that any delay from Manchin, who is not part of the far-left wing of the Democrat Party, could “imperil House passage of the separate $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill, which Pelosi has promised to pass by Sept. 27.”
Biden reportedly called Manchin earlier this year, telling him that if he did not support the enormous coronavirus bill that Manchin was “really f***ing him,” the Washington Post wrote. Democrat Rep. James Clyburn, House Majority Whip, told CNN on Sunday that “sometimes, you have to kind of stop the clock to get to the goal.”
“And so it may be 3.5. It may be close to that, or it may be closer to something else,” he said.
Far-left socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders stated that $3.5 trillion was not enough, adding that the bill was already cut from $6 trillion down to $3 trillion.
“Look, right now what we are doing is we are engaging with the House and the Senate,” Sanders said. “It is a complicated proposal. All I am telling you is the $3.5 trillion is much too low. A compromise has already been made; an agreement has been made.”