Decision on Parole for Noncitizens by Christmas

Senate Democrats are ramping up talks with the parliamentarian as they try to hit an ambitious goal of passing President Biden’s climate and social spending bill before Christmas.

Sen. Charles Schumer detailed meetings that committees and Democratic staff have had or will have with parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough, who provides guidance on whether a proposal complies with rules on what can be passed under budget reconciliation, the process Democrats are seeking to use to pass their massive spending bill.  

The roughly $2 trillion spending bill has to go through a so-called “Byrd bath,” during which MacDonough weighs in whether the bill complies with the Byrd rule, which lays out restrictions for what can be passed under the budget rules. Among those rules is that a proposal has to have an impact on federal spending and revenues and that its impact isn’t “merely incidental” to its non-budgetary goals. 

Democrats are still awaiting MacDonough’s ruling on their latest immigration plan, after Judiciary and Budget Committee staff as well as leadership staffers for both Republicans and Democrats met with her last week.

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