Amnesty supporters got the cold shoulder from the vice president this week when they sought to meet with her to suggest that she, as president of the Senate, should reverse the decision of the Senate parliamentarian that amnesty is not an appropriate part of the pending reconciliation bill.
The parliamentarian (as my colleague Art Arthur and I have reported) has twice ruled that two different forms of amnesty should not be in such legislation — and the reconciliation bill seems to be the only vehicle open to the Biden administration for a major legalization program. The administration has so far refused to fire Senate Parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough, as it could, for her position on the matter.
The Law360 report on Harris’s decision said that the groups she would not meet with were: CASA, Immigrant Rights Action, and the UndocuBlack network — I had not heard of the last two — hardly the mainstream of the open-borders alliance.
Though the news story did not suggest cause and effect, these listed groups have previously demonstrated outside her official residence, once known as the Admiral’s House, on an elegant stretch of Massachusetts Avenue just up the hill from the British and New Zealand embassies.
Maybe that’s not a good way to seek the vice president’s attention.
My sense is that it will be a very tough challenge for the Biden administration to get an even much-shrunken reconciliation bill through Congress, even without the negative baggage of a major amnesty included within it. So why create additional problems by overruling or firing MacDonough?