Dems block Senate vote on sanctuary cities

Dems block Senate vote on sanctuary cities
© Greg Nash

Senate Democratic Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerSchumer slams Justice Dept over 'pre-damage control' on Mueller report Overnight Health Care — Presented by PCMA — Sanders welcomes fight with Trump over 'Medicare for all' | DOJ attorney in ObamaCare case leaving | NYC mayor defends vaccination mandate | Ohio gov signs 'heartbeat' abortion bill Dems see room for Abrams in crowded presidential field MORE (N.Y.) on Tuesday objected to a proposed vote on a Republican bill to crack down on so-called sanctuary cities, arguing they have little to do with the fate of young immigrants living in the U.S. without legal permission.

Democrats have not yielded back procedural time on the Senate floor, stalling the beginning of the immigration debate this week.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump, Dems prep for Mueller report's release McConnell touts Trump support, Supreme Court fights in reelection video Why Ken Cuccinelli should be Trump's choice for DHS MORE (R-Ky.) tried to get the ball rolling by proposing a vote on an amendment proposed by Sen. Pat ToomeyPatrick (Pat) Joseph ToomeyOvernight Defense: Pick for South Korean envoy splits with Trump on nuclear threat | McCain blasts move to suspend Korean military exercises | White House defends Trump salute of North Korean general WH backpedals on Trump's 'due process' remark on guns Top GOP candidate drops out of Ohio Senate race MORE (R-Pa.) addressing sanctuary cities, jurisdictions that refuse to help federal officials with immigration enforcement. Schumer immediately objected to that move.

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“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,” Schumer argued.

That drew a swift rebuke from Republicans, who expressed irritation over the delaying tactic after Democrats had demanded for weeks an immigration debate on the Senate floor.

"The majority leader today tries to carry out that promise [to debate immigration] and get this bill moving and we have this objection. Very puzzling," said Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyTen post-Mueller questions that could turn the tables on Russia collusion investigators On The Money: Conservatives rally behind Moore for Fed | White House interviewing other candidates | Trump, Dems spar on Tax Day | Budget watchdogs bemoan 'debt denialism' GOP senators double down on demand for Clinton email probe documents MORE (R-Iowa).

"The leader has asked for unanimous consent to allow us to start debating these issues and the Democrats are refusing," Grassley added. "Puzzling, as I say it is, because they have been the ones to demand to have this debate."

Schumer, however, said the Senate should focus on bipartisan proposals — such as a measure backed by Sens. Christopher CoonsChristopher (Chris) Andrew CoonsMenendez, Rubio lead Senate effort to regulate Venezuelan sanctions Dem report questions State Dept. decision to revoke award to Trump critic Senate Dem calls on Trump to apologize for attacks on McCain MORE (D-Del.) and John McCainJohn Sidney McCainTrump gives nod to vulnerable GOP Sen. McSally with bill signing Democrats need a 'celebrity' candidate — and it's not Biden or Sanders Juan Williams: The high price of working for Trump MORE (R-Ariz.) that would give a path to citizenship to certain immigrants who came to the country as children and begin spending billions of dollars to improve security along the U.S.-Mexico border.

The Democratic leader proposed side-by-side votes on the Coons-McCain plan and President TrumpDonald John TrumpHouse Dems demand Barr cancel 'inappropriate' press conference on Mueller report DOJ plans to release 'lightly redacted' version of Mueller report Thursday: WaPo Nadler accuses Barr of 'unprecedented steps' to 'spin' Mueller report MORE’s four-point proposal, which would give young immigrants known as Dreamers a path to citizenship, spend $25 billion on border security, reduce the weighting of family relationships in granting green cards and eliminate the diversity visa lottery program.

The president’s plan has been written into a bill supported by Grassley and several other GOP lawmakers, including Sens. Tom CottonThomas (Tom) Bryant CottonOvernight Defense: Senators show skepticism over Space Force | Navy drops charges against officers in deadly collision | Trump taps next Navy chief Senators show deep skepticism on Space Force proposal GOP senators introduce bill to reduce legal immigration  MORE (Ark.), Thom TillisThomas (Thom) Roland TillisPro-life Christians are demanding pollution protections Embattled senators fill coffers ahead of 2020 Abrams: Schumer has been 'relentless but thoughtful' about Senate bid MORE (N.C.), James LankfordJames Paul LankfordHow Republicans are battling judicial obstructionism today GOP gets used to saying 'no' to Trump GOP to go 'nuclear' with rules change for Trump nominations MORE (Okla.) and David Perdue (Ga.).

“To begin this debate as the Republican leader suggests would be getting off on the wrong foot, unrelated to DACA. Very partisan,” Schumer said of the proposal to vote on sanctuary cities.