Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Republican from Kentucky, celebrated the blow that President Joe Biden’s administration suffered on Sunday evening when the Senate parliamentarian ruled that Democrats cannot include a pathway to citizenship in their $3.5 trillion social-spending bill.
“Senate rules never contemplated a majority circumventing the filibuster by pretending that sweeping and transformational new policies were mere budgetary changes,” McConnell said in a statement. “Tonight’s ruling confirms that principle. Democrats will not be able to stuff their most radical amnesty proposals into the reckless taxing and spending spree they are assembling behind closed doors. This just illustrates how radical Democrats’ aspirations are and how unmoored their far-left wish list has become from the procedures they want to use to ram it through.”
“Democratic leaders refused to resist their progressive base and stand up for the rule of law, even though our border has never been less secure,” McConnell continued. “After decades of failing to enact their amnesty agenda, Democrats tried this latest unprecedented gambit. It was inappropriate and I’m glad it failed.”
McConnell’s statement comes after Democrats suffered several negative headlines on Sunday that will likely be a significant set back for what the president is trying to accomplish.
The first headline came on Sunday afternoon when Axios reported that Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) was privately telling people that he wants to delay voting on the $3.5T package until next year.
“Back home in West Virginia last week, Manchin told a group of employees at a Procter & Gamble facility in Martinsburg he wanted to pause all the talk about the $3.5 trillion bill until 2022,” Axios reported. “Any delay on the Democrat-only reconciliation package could imperil House passage of the separate $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill, which Pelosi has promised to pass by Sept. 27.”
The second piece of negative news that the administration received came shortly after when the Senate parliamentarian ruled that Democrats could not include their immigration push in the $3.5T bill that they hoped they could pass through reconciliation, meaning they would only need 50 votes.
The Senate parliamentarian wrote in-part:
Finally, it is important to note that an obvious corollary of a finding that this proposal is appropriate for inclusion in reconciliation would be that it could be repealed by simple majority vote in a subsequent reconciliation measure. Perhaps more critically, 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. That would be a stunning development but a logical outgrowth of permitting this proposed change in reconciliation and 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 final piece of negative news actually happened last week but was reported for the first time on Sunday when Politico reported that Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) “has made her resistance to the current House prescription drug negotiation proposal clear to the White House.”
This article has been expanded after publication to include additional information.
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