Senate parliamentarian sets back Dems' immigration push

The Senate's nonpartisan parliamentarian says Democrats can’t use their $3.5 trillion package bolstering social and climate programs to give millions of immigrants a chance to become citizens

Via AP news wire
Monday 20 September 2021 01:23
Capital Breach Rally
Capital Breach Rally

Democrats can’t use their $3.5 trillion package bolstering social and climate programs to give millions of immigrants a chance to become citizens, the Senate’s parliamentarian said late Sunday, a crushing blow to what was the party’s clearest pathway in years to attaining that long-sought goal.

The decision by Elizabeth MacDonough, the Senate’s nonpartisan interpreter of its often enigmatic rules, is a damaging and disheartening setback for President Joe Biden congressional Democrats and their allies in the pro-immigration and progressive communities. It badly damages Democrats’ hopes of unilaterally enacting — over Republican opposition — changes letting several categories of immigrants gain permanent residence and possibly citizenship.

MacDonough's decision was described by a person informed about the ruling who would describe it only on condition of anonymity.