Dems block Senate vote on sanctuary cities

Dems block Senate vote on sanctuary cities
© Greg Nash

Senate Democratic Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerNo agreement on budget caps in sight ahead of Memorial Day recess Ex-White House photographer roasts Trump: 'This is what a cover up looked like' under Obama Pelosi: Trump 'is engaged in a cover-up' 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 orders more troops to Mideast amid Iran tensions What if 2020 election is disputed? Immigration bills move forward amid political upheaval 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 GrassleyTrump Citizenship and Immigration Services head out at agency Trump-Pelosi fight threatens drug pricing talks Overnight Health Care — Presented by PCMA — Senators unveil sweeping bipartisan health care package | House lawmakers float Medicare pricing reforms | Dems offer bill to guarantee abortion access 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 CoonsOil companies join blitz for carbon tax Mnuchin says carbon capture tax credit guidance will be out soon Mnuchin signals administration won't comply with subpoena for Trump tax returns MORE (D-Del.) and John McCainJohn Sidney McCainClimate change is a GOP issue, too It's Joe Biden's 2020 presidential nomination to lose Meghan McCain on Pelosi-Trump feud: 'Put this crap aside' and 'work together for America' 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 TrumpPapadopoulos on AG's new powers: 'Trump is now on the offense' Pelosi uses Trump to her advantage Mike Pence delivers West Point commencement address 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 CottonGOP senator says Iran needs to 'stop acting like an outlaw' Sen. Tom Cotton: 'Memorial Day is our most sacred holiday' The Hill's Morning Report — After contentious week, Trump heads for Japan MORE (Ark.), Thom TillisThomas (Thom) Roland TillisThe Hill's Morning Report — After contentious week, Trump heads for Japan Collins offering bill to boost battery research as GOP pushes energy 'innovation' Lawmakers call for investigation after census hired registered sex offender MORE (N.C.), James LankfordJames Paul LankfordSenate passes disaster aid bill after deal with Trump Congress reaches deal on disaster aid Bipartisan group of senators introduce legislation designed to strengthen cybersecurity of voting systems 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.