Dems’ hopes on immigration bill rest with parliamentarian

Washington DC Bureau

Democrats want it included in reconciliation package

WASHINGTON (Nexstar) — Democrats are giving up trying to pass a bipartisan immigration bill through Congress and are now trying to include immigration reform in the budget reconciliation package. That would require only Democratic support.

“We have tried with our Republican colleagues time and time again,” New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez said. “We’ve had over 10 sessions. They show no appetite.”

Texas Sen. John Cornyn sees it differently.

“Senator Durbin and Democrats have given up bipartisan immigration reform as you can tell. They’re trying to do something on a purely partisan basis,” Cornyn said.

The provision includes a road to citizenship for about 8 million people, including DACA and TPS recipients. The Senate parliamentarian will decide whether it can be included. But Durbin argues immigration does impact the budget.

“All of the leading economists agree: For every dollar that is paid out to a legal permanent resident, $10 are returned to the economy,” Durbin said.

Cornyn doesn’t think the Democrats will prevail, “so to me I think it speaks to their lack of seriousness.”

If the parliamentarian gives Democrats the green light, they will need the support of every Senate Democrat.

“I believe our full caucus supports immigration, absolutely,” Durbin said.

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