Senate Dems block crackdown on sanctuary cities

Greg Nash

Senate Democrats blocked a proposal on Thursday that would crack down on cities that don’t comply with federal immigration law.  

Senators voted 54-45 on the amendment from GOP Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) that would limit the flow of federal grants to the jurisdictions, commonly referred to as sanctuary cities.

Sixty votes were needed to overcome the procedural hurdle. 

Democratic Sens. Joe Donnelly (Ind.), Joe Manchin (W.Va.), Claire McCaskill (Mo.) and Debbie Stabenow (Mich.) — who are each up for reelection in states won by Trump — supported the measure. 

“It is past time to act. Sanctuary city policies make it harder to stop illegal immigration and keep dangerous criminals off the streets,” Toomey said ahead of the vote. 

The amendment was widely expected to fall short. A similar bill failed 53-44 in 2016, when Republicans had a larger majority. 

McConnell tried to bring up Toomey’s proposal for a vote on Tuesday but Democrats objected, arguing it was unrelated to fixing the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.  

“The proposal he just offered does not address the underlying issues of this debate, why we’re here. It doesn’t address ‘Dreamers’ nor does it address border security,” Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) argued at the time. 

Toomey’s amendment is one of four senators are voting on Thursday. 

Senators already rejected a bipartisan immigration proposal from Sens. Chris Coons (D-Del.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.).  

They are also expected to vote on a bipartisan immigration-border security bill put forward by a gang of Senate centrists and the White House framework.  

Tags Chris Coons Chuck Schumer Claire McCaskill Debbie Stabenow Joe Donnelly Joe Manchin John McCain Pat Toomey

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