The Senate Judiciary Committee will not mark up Sen. Vitter’s (R-La.) Stop Sanctuary Cities Act (S. 1814) as planned today, Politico reports. Republicans are still working though differences on the measure. Sources on the Hill tell NumbersUSA that once Members agree on language, Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., is likely to bypass committee and move to consider the bill on the Senate floor.
Sen. Vitter’s bill was one of several introduced in response to the murder of Kate Steinle by five-time deportee Juan Francisco Lopez Sanchez earlier this year. As originally drafted the measure blocked certain types of federal funding to cities that refuse to honor ICE detainer requests. Targeted funds included reimbursements to local jurisdictions for jailing illegal aliens (SCAAP) and Department of Justice policing grants. A later version added a mandatory minimum five-year sentence for repeat deportees – the so-called Kate’s Law.
Although that measure is supported by Committee Chairman Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., and Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Tex., it is opposed by Sen. Mike Lee of Utah. The 11-9 split between Republicans and Democrats on the Judiciary Committee means Republicans can’t afford to lose even one vote on passage. This is one reason why McConnell is considering a direct move to the floor. Another is the likelihood that the measure under negotiation will be weaker than Members like Sen. Sessions had hoped. He has introduced several stronger bills including S. 1640 and S. 1842.
In mid-August, the House of Representatives passed a weak sanctuary cities bill that would block SCAAP funding but allow, not require, DoJ to block policing grants.
Read more in Politico.
Updated: Wed, Sep 30th 2015 @ 10:30am EDT