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Dems block Senate vote on sanctuary cities

Dems block Senate vote on sanctuary cities
© Greg Nash

Senate Democratic Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerTrump casts doubt on hopes for quick stimulus deal after aides expressed optimism Schumer says he had 'serious talk' with Feinstein, declines to comment on Judiciary role Democrats seem unlikely to move against Feinstein 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 McConnellOn The Money: Power players play chess match on COVID-19 aid | Pelosi bullish, Trump tempers optimism | Analysis: Nearly 1M have run out of jobless benefits Trump casts doubt on hopes for quick stimulus deal after aides expressed optimism Power players play chess match on COVID-19 aid MORE (R-Ky.) tried to get the ball rolling by proposing a vote on an amendment proposed by Sen. Pat ToomeyPatrick (Pat) Joseph ToomeyAppeals court rules NSA's bulk phone data collection illegal Dunford withdraws from consideration to chair coronavirus oversight panel GOP senators push for quick, partial reopening of economy 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 GrassleyOn The Money: Power players play chess match on COVID-19 aid | Pelosi bullish, Trump tempers optimism | Analysis: Nearly 1M have run out of jobless benefits Grassley: Voters should be skeptical of Biden's pledge to not raise middle class taxes GOP to Trump: Focus on policy 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 CoonsSchumer says he had 'serious talk' with Feinstein, declines to comment on Judiciary role Durbin signals he isn't interested in chairing Judiciary Committee Push to expand Supreme Court faces Democratic buzzsaw MORE (D-Del.) and John McCainJohn Sidney McCainSenate is leaning to the Democrats, big time, with a wave Budowsky: Trump's COVID-19 death toll dominates election Democrats seem unlikely to move against Feinstein 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 TrumpJudge rules to not release Russia probe documents over Trump tweets Trump and advisers considering firing FBI director after election: WaPo Obama to campaign for Biden in Florida 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 CottonTom Bryant CottonCotton mocks NY Times over claim of nonpartisanship, promises to submit op-eds as test Barrett fight puts focus on abortion in 2020 election COVID outbreak threatens GOP's Supreme Court plans MORE (Ark.), Thom TillisThomas (Thom) Roland TillisGOP coronavirus bill blocked as deal remains elusive Senate is leaning to the Democrats, big time, with a wave Cunningham, Tillis locked in tight race in North Carolina: poll MORE (N.C.), James LankfordJames Paul LankfordMcConnell says he would give Trump-backed coronavirus deal a vote in Senate Senators push for Turkey sanctions after reports Ankara used Russian system to detect US-made jets McConnell: Plan is to confirm Trump's Supreme Court pick before election 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.