Senate fast-tracks sanctuary cities bill
© Greg Nash

Senate Republicans are fast-tracking a bill aimed at cracking down on sanctuary cities after a shooting earlier this year sparked a political firestorm around the issue. 

 
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The procedural move will allow the proposal to skip over the Senate committee process and head directly to the Senate floor where it can be brought up for a vote. A spokesman for Vitter's office said they are "hopeful" the legislation could come up for a vote later this month after the Senate returns from next week's recess.
 
Republican Sens. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzOvernight Health Care — Presented by Carequest — Colin Powell's death highlights risks for immunocompromised The Senate confirmation process is broken — Senate Democrats can fix it Australian politician on Cruz, vaccines: 'We don't need your lectures, thanks mate' MORE (Texas) and Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioRepublicans would need a promotion to be 'paper tigers' Defense & National Security — Military starts giving guidance on COVID-19 vaccine refusals Blinken pressed to fill empty post overseeing 'Havana syndrome' MORE (Fla.), who are both running for president, as well as Sens. John CornynJohn CornynCornyn raises more than M for Senate GOP Is the Biden administration afraid of trade? The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - After high drama, Senate lifts debt limit MORE (Texas), Chuck GrassleyChuck GrassleyOvernight Health Care — Presented by Carequest — FDA moves to sell hearing aids over-the-counter McConnell: GOP should focus on future, not 'rehash' 2020 Iowa Democratic Party chair says he received multiple threats after op-ed critical of Trump MORE (Iowa), Johnny IsaksonJohnny IsaksonHerschel Walker calls off fundraiser with woman who had swastika in Twitter profile Georgia reporter says state will 'continue to be a premier battleground' Critical race theory becomes focus of midterms MORE (Ga.), Ron JohnsonRonald (Ron) Harold JohnsonA pandemic of hyper-hypocrisy is infecting American politics Sen. Ron Johnson hoping for Democratic 'gridlock' on reconciliation package Republicans' mantra should have been 'Stop the Spread' MORE (Wis.), David Perdue (Ga.) and Pat Toomey (Pa.), are also backing Vitter's bill. 
 
The issue has been on Republicans' radar since the death of 32-year old Kathryn Steinle, who was shot in San Francisco, allegedly by an illegal immigrant who had already been deported five times. 
 
Vitter said it was "outrageous" that policies haven't changed since Steinle's death. 
 
"Our legislation will stop sending sanctuary cities federal taxpayer dollars, so hopefully they get a clue,” he said. "We need to send a loud and clear message to any sanctuary cities that their dangerous policies are not acceptable."
 
A handful of Senate Republicans, including Vitter, tried to use an education bill in July to tighten federal money for cities that don't follow federal immigration law, but were unsuccessful. 
 
The Louisiana Republican's legislation would also increase the maximum punishment for undocumented immigrants who try to renter the United States after being deported from two years to five years in prison, as well as establishing a maximum punishment of 10 years in prison for immigrants in the country who renter the United States after being removed three or more times.