SPONSORED:

GOP senators introduce Trump immigration framework

GOP senators introduce Trump immigration framework
© Greg Nash

A group of GOP senators are pushing forward with President TrumpDonald TrumpIran's leader vows 'revenge,' posting an image resembling Trump Former Sanders spokesperson: Biden 'backing away' from 'populist offerings' Justice Dept. to probe sudden departure of US attorney in Atlanta after Trump criticism MORE's immigration proposal as the Senate turns to a days-long floor fight.

Sen. Chuck GrassleyChuck GrassleyFinance Committee vote on Yellen nomination scheduled for Friday Democrats swear in three senators to gain majority Yellen champions big spending at confirmation hearing MORE (R-Iowa) on Monday led other senators in formally introducing the plan, which aligns with the White House's framework.

ADVERTISEMENT

"The senators sponsoring this amendment have attempted to develop a simple, common-sense framework that can address everyone's concerns while also providing necessary and critical changes to our nation's immigration law," Grassley said from the Senate floor.

He added that the proposal is a "fair plan that closely mirrors the president's framework" and "the only plan that the president supports."

Similar to the White House's framework, the GOP proposal would provide a path to citizenship for 1.8 million immigrants brought into the country illegally as children in exchange for $25 billion in border security.

It would also place new limits on family-based immigration, a key point for conservatives but considered a non-starter for many Democrats.

And it would toughen interior enforcement, including implementing E-Verify, strengthening penalties for immigrants who re-enter the country illegally after being deported and cracking down on visa overstays.

The proposal got a boost on Monday, with Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellTrump selects South Carolina lawyer for impeachment trial McConnell proposes postponing impeachment trial until February For Biden, a Senate trial could aid bipartisanship around COVID relief MORE (R-Ky.) throwing his support behind the measure, saying it represented the "best chance" for Congress to pass something that will be signed into law.

"I support the president's proposal and my colleagues' legislation to implement it. The Secure and Succeed Act is fair, addresses both sides' most pressing concerns, conforming to the conditions the president has put forward," he said.

But the proposal is expected to fall short of the 60 votes needed to be attached to the underlying House vehicle being used for the Senate's debate, much less be passed out of the chamber.

Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerNRSC chair says he'll back GOP incumbents against Trump primary challengers Schumer becomes new Senate majority leader US Chamber of Commerce to Biden, Congress: Business community 'ready to help' MORE (D-N.Y.) on Monday countered that the Senate's bill should be narrowly focused.

"This is the moment for a narrow bill and every ounce of our energy is going into finding one that can pass," he said.

He added that "the only enemy here is overreach."

The Senate is turning to the House-passed bill on Monday night, with senators predicting that the chamber's floor fight could drag on for weeks.

Any proposal would need 60 votes to pass, meaning it will need the support of both Democrats and Republicans.

No Democrat has backed Trump's framework. And Sen. Dick DurbinDick DurbinOvernight Defense: House approves waiver for Biden's Pentagon nominee | Biden to seek five-year extension of key arms control pact with Russia | Two more US service members killed by COVID-19 Senate approves waiver for Biden's Pentagon nominee Bipartisan Senate gang to talk with Biden aide on coronavirus relief MORE (D-Ill.) said on Tuesday that he had yet to see a Republican plan that could win over at least nine or 10 Democrats.

Sen. Tom CottonTom Bryant CottonSenate approves waiver for Biden's Pentagon nominee House approves waiver for Biden's Pentagon nominee Senate panel advances Biden Pentagon nominee MORE (R-Ark.), a close ally of Trump's who has been outspoken on the issue, dismissed Schumer and Durbin, saying they "misjudged their own caucus' wishes on this" during the January shutdown fight.

"Ultimately we don't have to have the blessing of Chuck SchumerChuck SchumerNRSC chair says he'll back GOP incumbents against Trump primary challengers Schumer becomes new Senate majority leader US Chamber of Commerce to Biden, Congress: Business community 'ready to help' MORE and Dick Durbin to pass a bill," he said.

Schumer and Durbin are at the center of the Democratic caucus's strategy. Durbin and Sen. John CornynJohn CornynLimbaugh falsely says Biden didn't win legitimately while reacting to inauguration Top Texas Democratic Party staffers to step down after underwhelming election results K Street navigates virtual inauguration week MORE (R-Texas) were part of a leadership group initially tasked with coming up with an agreement.

Cotton added that "the president's framework isn't an opening bid. ...It is a best and final offer." 

But senators have been clear they are working on their own proposals. Sen. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeBudowsky: Democracy won, Trump lost, President Biden inaugurated Biden's inauguration marked by conflict of hope and fear Schumer becomes new Senate majority leader MORE (R-Ariz.) has crafted two bills—one that would be a temporary extension and a second broader proposal that touches on the "four pillars."

A group of roughly 20 senators led by GOP Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsFor Biden, a Senate trial could aid bipartisanship around COVID relief Limbaugh falsely says Biden didn't win legitimately while reacting to inauguration Bipartisan Senate gang to talk with Biden aide on coronavirus relief MORE (Maine) are also continuing discussions over draft language about one, or more, measures they could back as a group. 

Trump kicked the immigration fight to Congress last year when he ended the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which allows immigrants brought into the country illegally as children to work and go to school here.

Updated: 7:03 p.m.