Mitch McConnell Planning Debate on Immigration

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is turning the attention in the Senate toward the immigration issue. On Friday morning, the GOP leader teed up a House-passed shell bill that is used as the carrier for the Senate’s debate.  A procedural vote will be held on whether the new House legislation is going to be taken into consideration on Monday at 5:30 p.m.

McConnell promised earlier this week that in order for a debate to be held on immigration he will use a non-immigration bill as the base which will let the lawmakers start from scratch.

“The bill I move to, which will not have underlying immigration text, will have an amendment process that will ensure a level playing field at the outset,” McConnell stated on the Senate floor.

Next week Senate will be overwhelmed with the free-will debate in which both sides will be struggling to find a bipartisan solution that will have the support of 60 senators. The White House director of legislative affairs, Marc Short earlier this week said to the reporters that the White House wants their framework to be the Senate’s starting point.

Trump’s proposal offers citizenship to roughly 1.8 million immigrants but only if tens of billions of dollars are allocated to the border wall and additional border security.

According to The Hill, the framework was panned by Democrats and some Republicans over concerns about cuts to legal immigration and limits on family-based immigration.

Last year, Trump announced that he was ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, passing the fight for its survival to Congress. Democratic lawmakers have until March 5 to save the program, otherwise more then 700,000 immigrants brought into the country illegally as children are at risk of being deported.

The Hill also reported that McConnell announced that he was teeing up the immigration debate after the Senate voted early Friday morning to pass a budget deal with a stopgap measure that, if passed by the House, would allow the government to reopen and be funded through March 23.

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