The Democrats came away from Election Night 2020 confident that all the pieces were in place for transforming the United States of America into European-style socialist democracy. Their presidential candidate had just supposedly racked up a greater plurality of votes than any president before him. All the party leaders needed to do now to ensure permanent control of the federal government was to dispose of the Senate filibuster, pack the U.S. Supreme Court, and open the southern border to all comers, confident that each warm body would represent another Democratic vote.
But the Dems’ nominal majority in the Senate turned out to be insufficient to satisfying prongs 1 and 2 of their plan. Prong 3, which began with canceling the completion of Donald Trump’s border, has proved to be a nightmare of unimaginable proportions, which recently ran afoul of a new logistical roadblock. (RELATED: Haitians on Texas border undeterred by U.S. plan to expel them)
Democrats can’t use their $3.5 trillion package bolstering social and climate programs for their plan to give millions of immigrants a chance to become citizens, the Senate’s parliamentarian said, a crushing blow to what was the party’s clearest pathway in years to attaining that long-sought goal.
The decision by Elizabeth MacDonough, the Senate’s nonpartisan interpreter of its often enigmatic rules, is a damaging and disheartening setback for President Joe Biden, congressional Democrats and their allies in the pro-immigration and progressive communities. Though they said they’d offer her fresh alternatives, MacDonough’s stance badly wounds their hopes of unilaterally enacting — over Republican opposition — changes letting several categories of immigrants gain permanent residence and possibly citizenship.
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The amnesty plan seemed like a slam dunk in the early days of the Biden presidency. “A path to citizenship for 11 million immigrants is a no-brainer,” the Washington Post blared jubilantly.
The news of the parliamentarian’s decision has to come especially hard to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, who within days of the election announced to jubilant constituents, “Now we take Georgia, then we change the world.”