New York Representative Adriano Espaillat said his party had three more options to incorporate immigration reform into President Biden’s $ 3.5 reconciliation budget, after the Senate parliamentarian blocked two other similar efforts democrats.
In an interview with CNN on Friday, the Democrat admitted there will be cuts to the infrastructure project, but the last thing he wants to leave out is immigration reform.
“But, for me, the deal breaker is really leaving immigrants out in the reconciliation bill. And the speaker assured me today that there will be a version of immigration reform in the reconciliation package, ”Espaillat (D-NY) said. “And I think that’s very encouraging for me. I don’t want to leave immigrants behind.
His comments come two days after Senatorial Parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough rejected an offer by Democrats to include text giving millions of immigrants legal status in the $ 3.5 trillion spending bill.
“There are two versions that have been closed,” Espaillat said. “But we have five versions. We predicted that the parliamentarian might shoot down some of the versions that we presented. But there are three other versions.
Espaillat added that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is considering including some of the three versions.
A day after MacDonough’s decision, protesters halted traffic along San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge for more than 30 minutes in an effort to urge Congress to pass the immigrant citizenship bill through budget reconciliation.
About 25 cars halted traffic around 7 a.m. local time where protesters gave speeches from a truck while waving banners that read “Pass the $ 3.5 trillion spending bill,” “Pass the bill. besides the parliamentarian ”and“ Citizenship for all ”.
“Immigrant communities cannot wait another 20 years of broken promises. An inclusive path to citizenship would boost the US economy, ”protest organizers said in a statement, according to SFist.
As the Center for American Progress reports, a path to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented immigrants would increase U.S. gross domestic product by a cumulative total of $ 1.7 trillion over 10 years, create 438,800 new jobs and raise the wages of undocumented and American workers. Now is the time to ensure economic justice, climate justice and citizenship for all. “
“For these reasons, we demand that Vice President Harris and the Main Democrats in Congress reverse the decision of the unelected Senate parliamentarian who excludes undocumented migrants from the budget reconciliation process. “
At least five people linked to the protest have been arrested and at least four vehicles have been towed, according to Fox News.
Democrats hope to push through their immigration plan through reconciliation, however, Senate rules require these bills to focus on the federal budget.
The move follows an initial effort by Democrats to include the language of immigration that was rejected by MacDonough on September 19. The proposal would have granted permanent status to immigrants brought illegally to the United States as children, agricultural and essential workers, and fleeing people. some countries affected by violence or natural disasters.
At the time, the Congressional Budget Office estimated that it would also have affected around 8 million people in the United States.
This week, Congress is trying to pass the massive spending bill and a bipartisan $ 1.2 trillion infrastructure bill, but has struggled to negotiate between progressives and moderate Democrats.
Pelosi had insisted all week that infrastructure legislation be put to a vote on Thursday. She had initially promised moderate members of her conference who supported the measure that it would be voted on by September 27, but let the deadline slip as she sought to appease progressives who wanted to vote on the project first. more important law.
Biden arrived on Capitol Hill shortly before 4 p.m. Friday for a meeting with House Democrats in a desperate attempt to strike a deal before it’s too late.
Democrats sent mixed messages throughout the day, with some claiming there would be a vote on Friday while others prepared to work over the weekend.