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Chuy Garcia Puts Immigration Reform Topline at $126 Billion
Bernie Sanders' budget reconciliation plan includes billions in immigration reform funding, says Garcia

That's the budget topline Rep. Chuy Garcia (D-NY) tells LPO is in the budget reconciliation plan backed by Senate Budget Committee chairman Bernie Sanders (I-VT).

"Senator Sanders provided $ 126 billion dollars for ensuring that the cost of a process of legalization incorporating people into our country and providing a pathway to citizenship addresses the fiscal aspects of such an undertaking," Rep. Garcia said Thursday evening.

"It's one of the provisions in the Bernie Plan for reconciliation," Garcia continued. "He's been clear on it. We're close allies. The Progressive Caucus is very much in support of it. I think there's tremendous support in the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, as well. We're just waiting to hear the latest news to get a sense of the pulse at the White House and the potential for collaboration between the Senate and the House. "

Senators Bob Casey (D-PA) and Ben Cardin (D-MD) both indicated to LPO earlier this month  that there was funding for immigration reform in Senate Democrats' $ 3.5 trillion budget proposal, but the $ 128 billion topline is new.

Senate Democrats Eye Immigration Reform in $ 3.5 Trillion Budget Deal, but offer few details

Senator Sanders' office did not reply to request for comment, but a growing chorus of moderate and progressive Democrats in the House and Senate expressed support this week for passing the long-elusive pathway to citizenship for millions of undocumented immigrants through budget reconciliation, a complicated legislative procedure allowed under the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 through which Congress can pass a budget "affecting mainly permanent spending and revenue programs" with the main focus of deficit reduction. 

A growing chorus of moderate and progressive Democrats in the House and Senate expressed support this week for passing the long-elusive pathway to citizenship for millions of undocumented immigrants through budget reconciliation

In the upper chamber, Senators Klobuchar (MN), Warren (MA), Chris Murphy (CT), Cory Booker (NJ), Ben Ray Luján (NM), Brian Schatz (HI) and Sanders have all indicated to LPO they support including immigration reform in the budget agreement.

Bernie Sanders Supports Overruling Parliamentarian to Pass Immigration Reform

Senate Parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough is responsible for interpreting the rules and parliamentary procedures of the upper chamber of Congress where there is a 2005 precedent  for including a legalization program for immigrants in budget reconciliation.

Senator Kaine Finds Precedent for Including Immigration Reform in Budget Reconciliation

Senator Sanders and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez have both told LPO that they support overruling the parliamentarian, if necessary, should MacDonough advise against a citizenship pathway in this year's current budget reconciliation agreement.

"I hope it doesn't come to that," Senator Dick Durbin told reporters earlier this month when asked about overriding MacDonough to include immigration reform.

The presiding officer of the Senate - in the case of a budget reconciliation vote would likely be Vice President Kamala Harris - can overrule a parliamentarian. 

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