We already heard from Chuck Schumer that the Senate would be moving “immediately” to work on the Democrats’ massive spending bill as soon as the (somewhat) bipartisan infrastructure bill passed. Since that happened today, both Schumer and Senate Budget Committee chairman Bernie Sanders proceeded to release the first “summary” of the bill. (The actual bill doesn’t exist yet except in bits and pieces.) Considering that this is supposed to technically be a “budget proposal,” there are a number of things tucked in there which don’t appear to have much to do with the country’s actual budget at all. High up on that list is a promise from Sanders that there will be “millions” of green cards available, vastly dwarfing the current limits. There will also be a “pathway to citizenship” for illegal aliens. Yep. That’s right. They’re going to try to shove amnesty into the budget bill. (Free Beacon)
The new budget proposal from Senate Democrats will dramatically increase the number of available green cards and include amnesty for illegal immigrants, according to an official fact sheet on the $3.5 trillion budget circulated by leadership…
It is unclear how many green cards Democrats aim to make newly available through the legislation, which was released Monday morning. The immigration provisions in the Democratic budget appear to be inspired in part by Biden’s campaign promise to make green cards available to family members of other green card recipients, regardless of annual caps. Biden’s campaign website promised to “[support] legislation that treats the spouse and children of green card holders as the immediate relatives they are, exempting them from caps.”
Democrats face bipartisan scrutiny over the border crisis, with the number of migrants attempting to enter the country through Mexico at a 21-year high. The $3.5 trillion budget has not yet earned support from moderate Democratic senators like Kyrsten Sinema (Ariz.), although she has said she’ll vote “yes” on procedural motions.
Nobody will be caught by surprise when they hear about all of the immigration chatter in this summary, or at least they shouldn’t be. Dick Durbin confirmed to reporters nearly a month ago that amnesty would show up in the bill, and that was when they were still ironing out the infrastructure deal. Joe Biden has already chimed in supporting the scheme, so we can’t say we weren’t warned.
If even half of the things that are being promised actually show up in the bill, the Democratic leadership will have clearly signaled that they’ve given up on attracting even a single Republican vote for this package. That means that they will have to drag every Democrat along with them, including King Joseph of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema, along with a few others.
Even if you’re interested in raising the cap on green cards a bit (the current limit is 1.1 million and we struggle to process that many as it is) how does that have anything to do with the budget? The same question is even more applicable to the idea of offering amnesty to the estimated ten to twelve million illegal aliens currently living in the United States. (That number may have gone up a bit since Joe Biden opened the borders.) The Senate Parliamentarian may have a thing or two to say about those portions of the bill and they will no doubt be asked to review it. In the past, these non-spending measures have been struck down because reconciliation is only intended to be used to pass spending bills where the general priorities have been agreed upon but the two chambers were unable to haggle all of the bottom-line figures.
Sanders is currently hailing the bill as “the most consequential piece of legislation for working people, the elderly, the children, the sick and the poor since FDR and the New Deal of the 1930s.” High praise indeed from the guy who helped write it, eh?
The world is currently crazy enough that I will rarely rule out anything as a possibility. But even with that said, I find it rather unlikely that this bloated Democratic wishlist of a “budget” will survive long enough to make it to reconciliation. I’m not even sure if something that size will hold all of the Democrats in the House together in support of it. And the clock is ticking. The Senate has a lot of other items on its to-do list and this year’s calendar is getting shorter.