The U.S. House is back in session for the first time in nearly a month, and Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar wasted no time causing problems.
On Sunday night, Senate Parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough ruled that Democrats couldn’t include a pathway to citizenship for illegal aliens within a budget reconciliation package.
But Omar, overstepping her bounds because she deems this measure a “once in a lifetime opportunity to do the right thing,” is demanding Senate leadership and the White House violate the ruling.
Omar said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and President Joe Biden “can and should ignore it.”
We can’t miss this once in a lifetime opportunity to do the right thing. https://t.co/r1T7T7uQIP
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) September 20, 2021
MacDonough determined the provision fell outside the scope of what is permitted in a reconciliation bill, which cannot be filibustered and thus requires support from only a simple majority in the Senate.
As part of her three-page memo, MacDonough said the provision was “a policy change that substantially outweighs the budgetary impact of that change,” since it changes the immigration status of over 8 million people.
“Permitting this provision in reconciliation would set a precedent that could be used to argue that rescinding any immigration status from anyone — not just those who obtain LPR status by virtue of this provision — would be permissible because the policy of stripping status from any immigrant does not vastly outweigh whatever budgetary impact there might be,” MacDonough added, then also cited a Congressional Budget Office estimate that Democrats’ proposals would increase federal deficits by $140 billion over the next decade.
Undeterred, the White House continues to support efforts to include illegal immigration measures in the bill.
“The President has made very clear that he supports efforts by Congress to include a pathway to citizenship in the reconciliation package and is grateful to Congressional leadership for all of the work they are doing to make this a reality,” a White House spokesperson told Axios.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki added more context during her Monday afternoon press briefing.
B) Psaki: The president supports those efforts and certainly he has long stated his support for immigration being a part of reconciliation. That's really the next step in the process. But there are a number of members who are already working on that
— Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) September 20, 2021
Republicans are pleased with the ruling.
“Democratic leaders refused to resist their progressive base and stand up for the rule of law, even though our border has never been less secure,” Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said.
Majority Leader Schumer, on the contrary, was “deeply disappointed” by MacDonough’s decision and claimed, “Senate Democrats have prepared alternate proposals and will be holding additional meetings with the Senate parliamentarian in the coming days.”
This is not the first time Omar has attacked the nonpartisan interpreter of Senate rules. Earlier this year, when she and fellow socialist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez didn’t approve of a ruling, the duo threw a tantrum and called for MacDonough’s removal.