Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiMajor union that backed Biden in 2020 endorses Foy in Virginia governors race The Hill’s 12:30 Report: Biden navigates pressures from Dems Pelosi’s ‘9/11-type’ commission to investigate Capitol riot could prove dangerous for Democrats MORE (D-Calif.) said Thursday that President BidenJoe BidenFeds investigating Cuomo’s handling of nursing home outbreaks Overnight Defense: One-third of service members decline coronavirus vaccine | Biden to take executive action in response to Solar Winds hack | US, Japan reach cost sharing agreement On The Money: Biden faces backlash from left on student loans | Where things stand on the COVID-19 relief measure | Retail sales rebound MORE’s expansive immigration plan may be split up into individual pieces of legislation to pass Congress.
The remarks come after the introduction of the immigration proposal, which seeks to deliver on a list of Biden’s campaign promises, including providing a path to citizenship for the young people brought to the U.S by their parents as children, allowing immigrant farmworkers and those with Temporary Protected Status to swiftly obtain green cards and allowing undocumented immigrants to apply for green cards after five years.
The bill has garnered broad opposition from Republicans, though some in the GOP support specific aspects of the legislation, raising the prospect that the proposal could be broken up to deliver smaller victories.
“I salute the president for putting forth the legislation that he did. There are others who want to do piecemeal, and that may be a good approach too. That’s up to the Congress to decide,” Pelosi said at her press conference Thursday.
Pelosi said Democrats could seek to pass the bill through the budget resolution process, which would let the party avoid the 60-vote filibuster in the Senate and approve it with a simple 51-vote majority, but questioned whether the legislation would qualify for the process.
“There are people who are advocating for that, and the question is would that meet the Byrd Rule and those other kind of things,” she said, referencing a requirement that a piece of legislation has an effect on the federal budget and that it is not “merely incidental” to that effect in order to qualify to pass through reconciliation. “And if it would, that would be wonderful, because then we wouldn’t need the 60 votes.”
Biden has also reportedly expressed openness to breaking up his overall proposal to try to pass something through Congress, where Democrats have narrow majorities in both chambers.
Immigration reform bills have long languished on Capitol Hill over fierce disagreements between Democrats and Republicans over how to overhaul the way migrants enter the U.S. The issue further polarized lawmakers during the Trump administration after then-President TrumpDonald TrumpFederal prosecutors investigated Proud Boys ties to Roger Stone in 2019 case: CNN Overnight Defense: One-third of service members decline coronavirus vaccine | Biden to take executive action in response to Solar Winds hack | US, Japan reach cost sharing agreement Trump ‘won’t say yet’ if he’s running in 2024 MORE pushed for the creation of a border wall with Mexico and imposed stringent restrictions on immigrants and refugees entering the U.S.
Pelosi praised Biden’s immigration proposal, saying welcoming more immigrants would strengthen the country.
“Immigrants coming to our country, with newcomers coming with their new hopes and dreams and aspirations, with their optimism and determination to make the future better for their families, well, those are American traits,” she said. “And when they come here with those values, they make America more American.”