Senate leader, Mitch McConnell, to allow open immigration debates in the Senate all next week. There is no bill in place to be debated. Instead, a base bill will likely be introduced by McConnell, which will allow for an amendment process to take place, constructing immigration legislation. The Senate leader claims that this bill will not be related to immigration. McConnell said he is using this tactic to ensure an equal match for both parties.
To pass through the Senate, the legislation will have to have at least sixty votes, a majority. This will be difficult, seeing as no groups can decide on any single legislation, and have failed to get approval from the White House on any proposals. Though the issues being talked about are numerous, some of the most contentious include the funding for the border wall, the citizenship status of Dreamers, eliminating the diversity lottery, and in Trump’s words, closing immigration “loopholes”.
This week of debates hits directly before the February Recess for the Senate, leaving it unclear about whether McConnell is expecting a decision to be reached in this time period. House Democrats are looking for Speaker Paul Ryan to allow for a similar debating process in the House.
Our Verdict: It is somewhat unclear what Senate Leader McConnell hopes to accomplish in this week of open debate. Five days of negotiations is most certainly not enough time to come up with a proper solution to what has been an endless immigration debate. With no legislation to begin with, the slate is pretty clean, and anything could happen. The question remains whether any amendment will have to votes to pass.