Senate awaits ruling on Dem plan to pass immigration in reconciliation, circumventing GOP

The Senate is waiting with baited breath as the Senate parliamentarian considers whether Democrats are allowed to include immigration reform in their $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill, a move that would allow Democrats to circumvent the filibuster and the opposing party on the decades-old issue. 

Democrats made their case this week to Senate Parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough that their immigration proposal should survive the “Byrd Bath” – a process of weeding out non-budget related items from budget reconciliation bills named after the late Sen. Robert Byrd of West Virginia. 

“Literally we are in the Byrd Bath,” Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., said Tuesday. “A presentation is being made on behalf of the provisions we authored for changing immigration in the United States. That matter is now being considered by the Senate parliamentarian… It is entirely in her hands at this point.”

“We believe immigration is a critical element in reconciliation for three reasons,” Durbin said, laying out Democrats’ case for its inclusion in the bill. “First reason: How many years have we all complained that the immigration system in America is broken and needs to be fixed?”

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As for the other reasons, Durbin argued that

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