Senate Parliamentarian Dunks on the Democrat Agenda Again

AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

The Senate Parliamentarian just won’t stop, and it’s driving the left crazy. We are a little over a week removed from the parliamentarian’s last ruling which struck down a Democrat attempt to include a “pathway to citizenship” for illegal aliens in the reconciliation bill.

Now, a reworked attempt has also been shut down. How many times are we going to have to do this?

On Tuesday, they presented to her office a plan to change an existing law known as the Registry, which allows immigrants present in the U.S. before a certain date to apply for a green card no matter how they entered, according to people familiar with the matter. That date is currently set at Jan. 1, 1972. Democrats proposed moving it to 2010.

In a meeting Wednesday, Ms. McDonough indicated she was inclined to rule against the proposal, and the formal ruling came soon after.

In the ruling sent to Senate leadership and seen by The Wall Street Journal, the parliamentarian wrote, “The number of beneficiaries and score of this amendment…are largely the same as those of the earlier proposal which does not dramatically shift the balance of policy vs. score.”

The ruling added: “The change in status to [lawful permanent resident] remains a life-long change in circumstances, the value of which vastly outweighs its budgetary impact.”

Reconciliation is a confusing process, but what essentially has to happen is that any policy change included must have a large enough impact on the current federal budget compared to the actual policy change being made (I’m confused just typing that). Obviously, when you legalize tens of millions of illegal immigrants, that change as a policy matter going forward far outweighs whatever cost it may be denoted under as part of the current budget or reconciliation budget.

It’s simpler than that, though. Changes to the immigration system do not belong in a budget bill. If Democrats were allowed to get away with this, they could literally shove anything in reconciliation and avoid the filibuster. Clearly, the Senate Parliamentarian understands how ludicrous that would be, and she deserves credit for standing firm in the face of a massive amount of pressure. Odds are, given the dynamics in Washington and who controls the Senate, that she’s left-leaning herself, but she’s doing what’s right here regardless.

Still, you can expect Democrats to keep pushing. As detestable as their politics are, you can never claim they don’t go full bore and fight with every tool within their grasp. Republicans would never even try a gambit like this. Democrats will probably submit another proposal. Even still, the reconciliation bill is already full of enough garbage that doesn’t qualify under the rules to be a disaster as it sits.