Manchin: Immigration 'Too Big' for Biden's Social Spending Package Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., chairs a hearing of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources on Capitol Hill. Photo Credit: Chris Kleponis/Sipa USA(Sipa via AP Images)
By Jeffrey Rodack | Tuesday, 05 October 2021 03:12 PM
Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., says immigration reform is "too big" to fit into the Democrats' massive spending bill.
His comments were made to the Latino Rebels outlet as he left the Senate chamber on Monday afternoon.
"I don’t think it's going to be in there," Manchin said. "I really don't. I think it's too big for that."
Manchin stressed he’s "totally committed to trying to help" immigrants but is not willing to "bust the Byrd Rule."
The rule, named after the late Sen. Robert Byrd, D-W.Va., prohibits "extraneous" measures from being included in budget reconciliation bills, Latino Rebels said.
According to the Daily Mail, the Democrats’ plan would have permitted "Dreamers" – people brought to the U.S. illegally as children – to remain in the U.S.
But Senate Parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough issued two separate rulings that prevented a path to citizenship from being included in the legislation.
"Changing the law to clear the way to LPR [lawful permanent resident] status is [a] tremendous and enduring policy change that dwarfs its budgetary impact," she wrote.
Manchin and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., are the last Senate Democrat holdouts to President Joe Biden's $3.5 trillion bill, which the lawmakers say is far too expensive in its current form.
Senate Democrats have told Latino Rebels that they plan to continue pushing the Parliamentarian to include immigrant relief in the budget reconciliation deal.
"It's being discussed," Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., said.
Manchin’s latest comments, however, make the effort more uncertain.