Democratic Senators Block McConnell on Starting Votes on Immigration Proposals

The nation's increasingly polarized politics are instilling new concerns in lawmakers and employees, as seen by Saturday's scheduled Capitol demonstration in support of those jailed on charges connected to the Jan. 6 Capitol disturbance
Capitol Hill

On two separate occasions on Tuesday, Democrats blocked Republicans from starting initial votes on immigration plans.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell attempted to set up a vote at 8 P.M. on a legislation proposed by Republican Senator Pat Toomey that targets federal grants for cities that don’t comply with immigration law. Later, McConnell also wanted a vote on an additional bipartisan plan from Democratic Senator Christopher Coons and Republican Senator John McCain that offered a fix for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program with the approval of Trump’s border security plan.

However, Dick Durbin, who has been a crucial part of the talks, objected to McConnell’s request, arguing that bipartisan talks are still in the process and Toomey’s amendment is not directly related to the DACA program.

“There have been meetings that have been going on all day on a bipartisan basis to try to resolve the issue before us. I believe progress is being made. I hope that we can continue along those lines,” he said.

According to The Hill, the back-and-forth came after Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer blocked a request by the GOP leader earlier Tuesday to set up a vote on Toomey’s amendment and a separate, unspecified Democratic amendment.

The Hill also reported that McConnell and other GOP senators hammered Democrats throughout Tuesday for slow-walking the immigration debate after demanding that it be brought to the Senate floor as part of the deal to end a three-day government shutdown in January.

“Dems just objected AGAIN! When are the Dems going to carry out what they’ve been promising the DACA kids for several months? Let’s move fwd or level w us that you don’t want to help. My bill could solve issues for DACA kids + strengthens border security,” GOP Senator Chuck Grassley for Iowa tweeted after the floor scuffle.

Following the standstill on Tuesday, the Senate is expected to vote to formally begin debate on Wednesday morning.

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