House Speaker Nancy Pelosi suggested a vote was imminent on a bill that would grant amnesty to nearly 8 million illegal aliens on Thursday afternoon only to rescind it just a few hours later.
Regardless of yesterday's canceled votes, Congressional Democrats moved closer to passing their sweeping budget reconciliation bill.
Most NumbersUSA activists who have a Democratic U.S. Representative received an urgent phone note from us late yesterday afternoon. Thanks to everyone who made phone calls! Even though Pelosi canceled the vote, your calls reminded House Democrats that their constituents are following the budget reconciliation process closely and oppose adding an illegal alien amnesty to the final bill.
Yesterday began with a rare trip by Pres. Biden to the Capitol to announce an agreement on a framework for the budget reconciliation bill. The framework doesn't specifically include an amnesty for illegal aliens, but instead says:
Improve Our Immigration System Consistent with the Senate's Reconciliation Rules.
Interestingly, the framework sets aside $100 billion to pay for the immigration provisions, but doesn't include the $100 billion in the bottomline cost of $1.75 trillion.
The President hoped that the framework would be enough to secure support from the House Progressive Caucus on the separate bipartisan infrastructure bill. Democratic Leaders wanted to pass the infrastructure bill ahead of next Tuesday's gubernatorial elections in Virginia.
However, House Progressives didn't take the bait, and instead demanded both to see legislative text of the framework and to receive assurance from Senate moderates that they supported the legislative text.
Pelosi's team provided the legislative text for the budget reconciliation bill, and in a surprise move, directed the House Rules Committee to "mark up" the legislation, indicating that a House vote was imminent.
Despite the framework noting that any immigration provisions would be consistent with Senate rules, the House version includes a revision to existing immigration law that allows any illegal alien who entered the country prior to Jan. 1, 2010 to receive an amnesty. The Migration Policy Institute estimates that an estimated 7.9 million illegal aliens would benefit from the amnesty.
The Senate Parliamentarian has already ruled that this "registry amnesty" would violate Senate reconciliation rules. But Democratic leaders are under great pressure to override the Parliamentarian.
Additionally, the House budget reconciliation bill would:
- recapture and issue approximately 630,000 so-called unused green cards,
- award Visa Lottery green cards that weren't distributed as a result of Pres. Trump's travel ban or COVID-19 restrictions, and
- allow certain aliens with approved green card petitions to receive a green card regardless of the annual numerical limits.
Should the House continue to include and approve the amnesty for millions of illegal aliens, it would be up to Senate Democrats to either strip the provision from the bill and then send it back to the House for their approval or ignore the Parliamentarian's ruling and approve the amnesty.
Senate Democrats are planning to ask for a ruling from the Senate Parliamentarian on a proposal to grant parole and work permits to millions of illegal aliens instead of awarding them with the more desired green cards.
PROGRESSIVES SIGN OFF
After Pelosi canceled yesterday's votes, the House Progressive Caucus signed off on the budget reconciliation framework and legislation. Their approval means that the House could vote on the budget reconciliation bill as early as next week.
CHRIS CHMIELENSKI is the Deputy Director for NumbersUSA
Updated: Fri, Nov 12th 2021 @ 1:30pm EST