Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., told Fox News on Monday that the Democratic push to add amnesty to the multi-trillion-dollar “infrastructure package” is a “power grab” that may be the dumbest idea in the history of the White House and Senate while there is a border crisis unfolding.
“If you give one person legal status there will be a run on our border like you have never seen before…the dumbest idea in the history of the Senate, the history of the White House. It will lead to the breakdown of law and order beyond what you see today,” Graham told “The Ingraham Angle.“
He laid into Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer for attempting to pass — without any Republican support — a monsterous $3.5 trillion budget resolution that he said has not even been written.
“It’s a power grab,” Graham said. He said the package doesn’t have a “damn thing to do with infrastructure.”
Republicans have been trying to raise the alarm about what they say is an effort by Democrats to sneak amnesty for millions in a bill that is ostensibly intended to fix potholes. Rep. Steve Scalise, R-Louisiana, tweeted last week, “Democrats are trying to sneak mass amnesty for millions of illegal immigrants through Congress under the cover of their budget scheme. They hope you won’t notice.”
KQED, a public radio station for the Bay Area, reported that top Senate Democrats have made it clear that they want immigration reform as part of the budget plan because they consider immigration part of the infrastructure.
Sen. Alex Padilla, D-California, was quoted in the report, saying, “Citizenship is essential infrastructure for immigrant families. For many, it’s a gateway to a driver’s license, to health care, to higher education.”
The report said that he hopes the spending bill will provide citizenship to Dreamers, essential workers and other undocumented individuals.
Last week, the White House said it would back efforts to include a pathway to U.S. citizenship in the reconciliation bill, but called on lawmakers to determine just how far the provision should reach, Reuters reported.
Jen Psaki, the White House press secretary, told reporters on Monday that the White House will “let Senate leaders put out the specifics in the reconciliation bill. We certainly support the — using the reconciliation package as a — as a platform and a forum for moving immigration protections forward, but we’ll let leaders in Congress speak to what’s included,” according to the transcript.
The White House did not immediately respond to an after-hours email from Fox News.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is pressuring lawmakers to reach an agreement this week on the pair of massive domestic spending measures, signaling Democrats’ desire to push ahead aggressively on President Biden’s multitrillion-dollar agenda.
Schumer hopes to pass the bipartisan infrastructure bill that comes with a $1.2 trillion price tag and a $3.5 trillion budget resolution that will likely only receive Democrat support. Specific details of the 10-year resolution are not clear. Democrats say the resolution aims to tackle climate change, education and an expansion of Medicare.
Graham said the bill is going to be a massive tax increase on business, and it’s going to expand the size and role of government. He said granting amnesty to millions while the border crisis continues would be a devastating blow to the country.
The Associated Press contributed to this report
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