The House accepted these rejections legislatively and worked with Senate Democrats to arrive at Plan C – temporary protection in a system of conditional release. However, they are not so happy about that option. Dozens of lawmakers, including California Rep. Lou Correa, New York Representative Adriano Espaillat, Illinois Representative Chuy García, New York Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and Congress Progressive Caucus President Pramila Jayapal wrote to Schumer in October, reminding him that “the role of the parliamentarian is an advisory role and the parliamentarian’s opinion is not binding”, as well as the fact that “there are precedents for the chairman ignoring the senate’s views. parliamentarians.”
This week, 91 House Democrats repeated that message to Schumer, Pro Tempore President Pat Leahy, and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durbin. “Whether or not we keep our promise is a matter of political will,” they wrote. “We can not let an unelected adviser decide which promises we fulfill and which we do not, especially when the vast majority of Americans – on both sides – want us to provide a path to citizenship.”
The parliamentarian was given this role in the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, which established the budget reconciliation process. It allows Congress to adopt budgetary priorities that directly affect spending, revenue and the debt limit in an accelerated process, which means it can pass by a simple majority and not be subject to a filibuster. The expenditure and income rules are the problem here, established by the “Byrd rule”, named after the former senator. Robert Byrd, who was intended to limit provisions in reconciliation proposals that are “beyond” budgetary targets.
The Member of Parliament examines the various provisions – “Byrd Bath” – and advises senators on whether they meet the criteria. Even if she rejects a provision, she can be ignored. The provision may remain in the bill, subject to a point of order from an opposition senator. The Senate debates that point, then the president – in this case Vice President Kamala Harris – can decide whether it violates the Byrd rule or not. If she decides not to do so and should stay in the bill, 60 votes will be required to overturn her decision.
So the Democrats dog fulfill the promise they have made for decades and create a path to citizenship. It is precisely a question of political will. Parole, although potentially acceptable to the parliamentarian, is at best a patch. “For decades, immigrants have sought relief from the uncertainty of jumping from one temporary status to another in the only country they can call home,” points out Parliament’s lawmakers. “Another temporary status would only prolong this uncertainty.”