During their weekly lunch meeting on Wednesday, Senate Democrats provided some entertainment in the form of a slideshow that proposed that $105 billion of the mammoth $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill would go towards what amounts to an amnesty plan for illegal immigrants.
The slideshow explained exactly what is in the package. One of the slides highlighted the need to “provide permanent resident status to immigrant workers and families.”
The slide also said that the $105 billion would go to “eligible immigrants who would no longer have to worry about being deported.”
The slideshow appears very reassuring, and explains that the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has estimated that the proposal would have a roughly $140 billion direct impact on the federal budget.
The proposal is currently going through a process called the “Byrd bath.” Named after the late Senator Robert Byrd of West Virginia, the Byrd bath process describes the deletion of provisions that have been dropped from the bill as the Senate Parliamentarian goes through various provisions in the bill per the Byrd rule.
During an after lunch press conference, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL), explained how throwing more money at an obviously inadequate immigration system would “fix” it.
He started out by saying that Senate Democrats feel that immigration is “critical” in the reconciliation bill for three reasons.
Durbin started out with, “First reason: How many years have we all complained that the immigration system in America is broken and needs to be fixed?” Durbin did not explain how a wide open U.S. southern border or importing thousands of Afghan refugees would fix the system.
The bill would bring $10 into the U.S. economy for every dollar that would be spent on immigrants becoming eligible for federal programs.
Durbin also argued that the U.S. needs more workers and that legal status for immigrants “gives them a chance to be a functioning part of this economy.” Currently, there are around 8.4 million Americans who are unemployed.
The reconciliation package is by no means a done deal.
With Democrats’ razor thin senate majority, they need every Democrat vote. Right now, that is not going to happen.
Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) have expressed opposition to the amount of spending in the bill.
On Wednesday, both Manchin and Sinema met with President Biden to discuss the bill. Recently, Manchin said that Democrats should, “hit the pause button,” and Sinema’s office said that she would oppose the bill because of the price tag.
Privately, some Democrats are a bit exasperated with Manchin and Sinema. While they say that they are used to Manchin often being the hold out on issues, Sinema has faced criticism at home for again, along with Manchin, being the two hold outs opposed to eliminating the senate filibuster.
The reconciliation bill is also facing a battle in the House.
Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D-FL) voted against the bill in committee on Wednesday. She stated that there were tax and spending provisions that gave her “pause.”
Murphy was the only Democrat on the House Ways and Means Committee to break ranks with her Party.
She also said she could not, “vote for the bill at this early stage.” For rank and file Democrats to have a problem with the bill should be alarming.
The reconciliation bill reads like a liberal Democrat wish list of things that would make the federal government a facet of every day life for virtually every American. Billions of dollars worth of spending on entitlements, education, and tax increases.
Murphy voted against the bill stating that she wanted to see the “bill in its entirety.”
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