No, Democrats Can’t Use Budget Reconciliation To Offer Mass Amnesty

No, Democrats Can’t Use Budget Reconciliation To Offer Mass Amnesty


Recently, Rep. Jesus Garcia, D-Illinois, joined President Biden in political hostage-taking. Garcia claimed he “will support a budget reconciliation package only if it includes provisions to grant a pathway to citizenship to a broad spectrum of the country’s undocumented population.”

Unfortunately for Garcia, procedural concerns—quite apart from whether Democrats have the votes and political will to pass an immigration package on top of up to $6 trillion in spending—make that scenario unlikely to happen.

Problem 1: Incidental Budgetary Impact

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Democrats want to use the reconciliation process to ram their priorities through the Senate on a party-line vote. But that process includes procedural strictures, including a six-part test called the “Byrd rule,” designed to preserve the integrity of the legislative filibuster. That rule, named for former Senate Majority Leader Robert Byrd, prohibits the inclusion of “extraneous” material, absent the agreement of 60 senators (the number normally needed to overcome a filibuster) to waive Senate rules and keep the material in

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