Senate Republicans are looking to line up several votes on immigration and border security amendments in an upcoming “vote-a-rama” on the budget reconciliation bill — moves that could put pressure on Democrats in tough re-election races.
Democrats are trying to move the scaled-down social spending bill through the budget reconciliation process — avoiding a 60-vote filibuster that requires only 50 votes in the Senate, meaning it could pass without Republican support.
The bill includes prescription drug reform, major spending on climate issues, expanding Affordable Care Act benefits and raising taxes, including on large corporations. The legislation follows more than a year of Democratic debate over passing the bill, using a process called budget reconciliation to circumvent a Senate filibuster.
The bill was sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Joe Manchin, DW.Va. Manchin torpedoed nearly $3 trillion in “build back better” proposals last year. Lawmakers called the new law the “Inflation Reduction Act” and claimed it would spend $433 billion but raise $739 billion in tax revenue.
Republicans say DEMS’ social spending and tax bill could divert money to climate-related protests
But using the reconciliation process means the bill is open to an unlimited number of amendments, and Republicans hope to take advantage.
With the border crisis beginning last March, Republicans used Vote-a-Rama in August to win a series of tough votes for moderate Democrats on immigration, including funding for border security and internal immigration enforcement. Some of those measures have received Democratic support.
A GOP Senate aide told Fox News Digital on Thursday that “multiple” amendments on issues related to the border and immigration are being drafted by different offices.
Meanwhile, Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., told reporters he plans to introduce an amendment to Title 42 — the public health order used to deport more immigrants since March because of the COVID-19 pandemic. 2020. The Biden administration is seeking to end the order, but so far a federal court has blocked it from doing so. Republicans and some Democrats have called on the Biden administration to extend or enact the order.
The votes could put moderate Democrats — some who have supported Title 42 and additional funding for border security measures — in a situation where they could vote for Republican-backed amendments at odds with others in their party. If that happens, other Democrats risk blocking the additions, killing the legislation outright.
This is Sene. Rep. Bob Menendez, D-NJ., a key immigration dove, has fellow Democrats sounding the alarm.
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“Taking asylum or accepting amendments that would expand Trump’s border wall will not fix our broken immigration and jeopardize reconciliation,” he tweeted this week. “We must defend immigrant communities against the GOP’s plans to use reconciliation to divide us and advance Trump’s hateful and destructive policies toward immigrants.”
Schumer announced Thursday that the Senate will meet on Saturday to hold a procedural vote to move forward with the reconciliation bill.
Fox News’ Tyler Olson contributed to this report.