The Senate Immigration Debate Isn't Going So Well


Senate Democrats at two different points on Tuesday blocked GOP leaders from lining up votes on conservative immigration proposals, including plans that sought to package a Trump-friendly border security initiative with pathways to citizenship for some undocumented immigrants, The Hill reported.

Democratic Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York) and Dick Durbin (D-Illinois) challenged Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell as he tried to line up an 8 p.m. vote on those measures, as well as a proposal from Pat Toomey (R-Pennsylvania) that would threaten cities not in compliance with federal immigration laws by withholding grants.

From The Hill:

Senators had predicted that they would have a wide-ranging free-for-all of a debate this week as they hunt for a plan that can get 60 votes, the amount needed to break a filibuster. Instead, the rhetoric took an increasingly partisan turn on Tuesday with both sides arguing the other needed to compromise to move the chamber forward.
As a result of the standstill, the Senate is expected to vote to formally begin debate on Wednesday morning.

Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), who has co-sponsored a bill that would offer a path to citizenship for about 1.8 million DREAMers—as well as hike funding for a border wall, dismantle the diversity visa and prohibit people from sponsoring their family members—berated Democrats for blocking the plan.

When reporters asked McConnell whether he’d allow debate on immigration policy to extend beyond this week, he replied with this delightful missive: “We have other things to do.”

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