The Senate is considering amendments to the fiscal year 2016 budget resolution under a so-called vote-a-rama that could produce votes on at least 100 amendments. The budget resolution is not an appropriations or substantive bill; it lays out Congress’ spending and policy objectives for a given fiscal year and is non-binding. In the realm of immigration, amendments are expected that instruct Congress to clarify birthright citizenship and massively increase the number of work permits issued to foreign tech workers.
As passed by the Senate Budget Committee, the budget resolution includes an amendment by Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., that instructs Congress to prohibit those amnestied under one of President Obama’s executive actions from claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Care credit. Since the overall Budget Resolution is non-binding, the presence of this amendment signals Congress' intent to deny amnestied illegal aliens these tax credits. Although the amendment is contained in the committee-passed resolution, Sen. Sessions is offering his amendment again on the Senate floor (#955). Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, is offering a somewhat similar amendment -- #469 -- which instructs Congress to require that only those working under a legitimate Social Security number during a particular tax year would qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit.
Sen. David Vitter, R-La., is offering amendment #849, which instructs Congress to restore meaning to the phrase "and subject to the jurisdiction thereof" by clarifying that automatic birthright citizenship is restricted to children born of at least one parent who owes sole allegiance to the United States, by virtue of being a U.S. citizen, a lawful permanent resident, or a member of the military. Sen. Vitter will also offer amendment #850, which instructs Congress to prohibit the Administration from using fees or other funds to implement the executive amnesties President Obama announced in November 2014.
Sen. Grassley is offering two additional amendments that instruct Congress to pass legislation that makes E-Verify mandatory (#960) and protects American workers before companies can petition for H-1B visas (#958).
Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, is offering amendment #646 which would instruct Congress to pass his so-called I-Squared bill. That bill would dramatically increase H-1B visa cap from 65,000 to a shifting cap of 115,000 to 300,000. It also would enable companies to hire an unlimited number of workers with advanced degrees from U.S. institutions in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).
Republican Sens. John McCain and Jeff Flake of Arizona are offering amendment #359, which would instruct Congress to set "operational control" of the Southwest border at an effectiveness rate of 90 percent or higher. It would weaken current law, which requires a 100 percent effectiveness rate. (Also offered as #1017 and #1025.)
Sens. McCain and Flake will also offer amendment #360, which would instruct Congress to allow children from Central America to apply for refugee status at U.S. consulates in those countries rather than travel to the United States
Senate Republicans set up an amendment tracker that allows the public to monitor the proposals under consideration.
Updated: Thu, Jun 8th 2017 @ 3:36pm EDT