Senate defeats GOP budget point of order on immigration bill

“We say we’re for budget discipline, but we just bust the caps by calling it emergency spending ... but this isn’t emergency spending,” Vitter said on the floor. “We have to stop violating this rule if we’re going to get serious about the deficit and debt.”

ADVERTISEMENT
The Republicans who voted “yes” were Sens. John McCainJohn McCainExperts warn weapons gap is shrinking between US, Russia and China McCain delivers his own foreign policy speech Republicans who vow to never back Trump MORE (Ariz.), Lindsey GrahamLindsey GrahamThe beginning of the end for Ted Cruz Graham: 'Lucifer may be the only person Trump can beat in a general election' Sunday shows preview: Cruz pulls out all the stops ahead of Indiana MORE (S.C.), Marco RubioMarco RubioOvernight Healthcare: First House Republican backs Obama Zika request Time to wake-up to the Venezuelan Crisis First GOP rep backs Obama’s Zika funding request MORE (Fla.), Jeff FlakeJeff FlakeMany Republicans uninterested in being Trump’s VP: report Senate confirms Obama's long-stalled ambassador to Mexico McCain fundraiser faces felony drug charges in Arizona MORE (Ariz.) — the four authors of the legislation — and Sens. Bob CorkerBob CorkerIran and heavy water: Five things to know Trump seeks approval from foreign policy experts, but hits snags The Trail 2016: The establishment comes around MORE (Tenn.), Kelly AyotteKelly AyotteGOP women push Trump on VP pick John Bolton PAC pours more cash into GOP campaigns Dem campaign arm: Poll numbers slipping for vulnerable Republicans MORE (N.H.), Jeff Chiesa (N.J.), Susan CollinsSusan CollinsLarry Wilmore, Sting party in DC ahead of WHCD GOP women push Trump on VP pick Sanders is most popular senator, according to constituent poll MORE (Maine), Orrin HatchOrrin HatchSupreme Court wrestles with corruption law IRS: Annual unpaid tax liability was 8B Hatch asks Treasury for memo that decreases transparency of tax rules MORE (Utah), Dean HellerDean HellerCarter pledges probe of sex assault testimony Democrats block energy spending bill over Iran amendment Senate votes to increase wind energy funding MORE (Nev.), Mark KirkMark KirkElizabeth Warren stumps, raises funds for Duckworth GOP blocks slate of Obama judicial nominees Durbin: McConnell should move criminal justice bill next month MORE (Ill.), John HoevenJohn HoevenThis week: Congress on track to miss Puerto Rico deadline Week ahead: Senate looks to wrap up energy, water spending bill Overnight Energy: Senate blocks GOP bill targeting water rule MORE (N.D.), Lisa MurkowskiLisa MurkowskiThe Hill's 12:30 Report Bishop eyes new Puerto Rico bill after recess Week ahead: Senate looks to wrap up energy, water spending bill MORE (Alaska) and Lamar AlexanderLamar AlexanderDemocrats block energy spending bill over Iran amendment Overnight Finance: Puerto Rico pressure builds; Big tariff vote Wednesday Senate votes to increase wind energy funding MORE (Tenn.).

The Senate is expected to pass the Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act by a bipartisan vote at the end of the week.

The bipartisan group of eight senators, known as the Gang of Eight, introduced S. 744, which would create a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants already in the country, toughen border security, create a guest-worker program and boost high-skilled immigration.

Later Wednesday, the Senate will also vote on the “border surge” amendment from Sens. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) and John Hoeven (R-N.D.). Their amendment adds more than $30 billion to the price tag of the bill, making it $46 billion total over 10 years. The amendment requires the hiring of 20,000 more border patrol agents, the completion of 700 miles of Southern border fencing and the purchase of $4 billion of new border security technology before immigrants would be able to apply for a green card.

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has said in the first 10 years, the bill will generate $197 billion, and in the decade after that nearly another $700 billion, but Republicans critics of the measure say those gains are to the Social Security Trust Fund and shouldn’t be used to pay for other projects because the money will have to be returned to the trust fund at some point.

Sen. Jeff SessionsJeff SessionsTrump seeks approval from foreign policy experts, but hits snags Many Republicans uninterested in being Trump’s VP: report GOP warms to Trump MORE (R-Ala.) said supporters of the bill are “double counting” the funds and that’s why the country is in such deep debt.

“Let’s stay with the budget,” Sessions said Wednesday. “Let’s require the bill’s sponsors to do what they’re suppose to do and should be able to do and that’s to produce a bill that pays for its costs.”

The Senate will also vote Wednesday on whether to end debate on the Senate Judiciary Committee's substitute amendment to S. 744, setting up final passage for Thursday night or Friday morning.

More in Senate

Senate GOP wades into Obama immigration battle

Read more »