Chris Chmielenski's picture

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  by  Chris Chmielenski

Once again, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi planned a vote on the Democrats' $1.75 trillion budget reconciliation amnesty bill on Friday only to rescind the vote hours later. However, the threat of Congress passing what could become the largest illegal alien amnesty in U.S. history is still very much alive.

One significant difference from Friday's rescinded vote compared to past efforts by Pelosi to hold a vote on the bill was that the House did approve a rule to bring the bill to the floor for debate. But the chamber stopped short of voting on it. However, it did approve the bipartisan infrastructure bill, which, up until Friday, had been directly tied to the budget reconciliation bill in the House of Representatives.

As it currently stands, the House version of budget reconciliation would result in the largest illegal alien amnesty in U.S. history if passed by both chambers of Congress. The bill includes what the Senate has dubbed as 'Plan C' -- a plan that would provide work permits and legal status, known as "parole", to an estimated 7.9 million illegal aliens. Senate Democrats have yet to submit the plan to the Senate Parliamentarian to see if it would be consistent with Senate rules, and Democratic Leaders have said they'll only approve immigration provisions that are approved by the Parliamentarian.

The House version also includes provisions that would:

  • "Recapture" and issue an estimated 630,000 so-called "unused" green cards from both the employment and family categories dating all the way back to 1992
  • Award green cards to visa lottery winners who were denied entry as a result of Pres. Trump's travel ban or COVID-19 entry ban
  • Allow aliens with an approved green card petition who have been on the visa waiting list for at least two years and are legally present in the United States to buy a green card regardless of whether one is currently available under the annual numerical limits
  • Remove a requirement in current law that people claiming the child tax credit must provide social security numbers for each qualifying child

Reportedly, there were about a dozen moderate House Democrats who had concerns about the immigration provisions, and therefore weren't giving final sign off on the legislation. It's become apparent that most of them are now willing to vote for the bill. Those that remain are unwilling to vote for the legislation until they see the final cost analysis from the Congressional Budget Office, which is expected over the next few weeks.

So while we wait for the CBO analysis, we have time to keep the pressure on the moderate Democrats who were initially hesitant over including immigration provisions in the budget reconciliation bill.

The House has no scheduled votes this week, while they do committee work and celebrate the Veteran's Day holiday weekend.

WHERE'S THE SENATE

Meanwhile, the Senate hasn't done much over the last week or so with its version of the budget reconciliation bill. At the end of the day, it's what can pass in the Senate, not what can pass in the House, that's most important. But House approval of its current immigration provisions will surely apply pressure on the Senate to accept the provisions, especially if the Parliamentarian approves of them.

Senate moderates, most notably Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, will likely take a close look at the CBO score of the House version. But the biggest questions that still remain in the Senate are: 1) what will be the Senate Parliamentarian's ruling on 'Plan C' and any further alternate plans for amnesty, and 2) will Senate Democrats be willing to ignore the Parliamentarian's ruling should she shoot down all the amnesty plans.

CHRIS CHMIELENSKI is the Deputy Director for NumbersUSA

Updated: Mon, Nov 22nd 2021 @ 11:55am EST

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