WASHINGTON, D.C. — President Joe Biden dropped by the Capitol on Thursday morning to announce a framework for the Build Back Better Act, his mantelpiece social spending bill.
“The framework includes a separate $100 billion investment in immigration reform that is consistent with the Senate’s reconciliation rules,” a White House fact sheet on the bill published Thursday morning said, “as well as enhancements to reduce backlogs, expand legal representation, and make the asylum system and border processing more efficient and humane.”
A framework is a sort of a deal in Beltway parlance, and many Democratic caucus members in both chambers of Congress have asked to see before fully committing their support to the Build Back Better Act. Immigration reform, however, still faces a challenging road ahead—with a review of a third pitch to include immigration relief in the budget reconciliation going to the Senate Parliamentarian for evaluation this week, according to Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), who serves as both Majority Whip and Judiciary Committee Chair.
Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) is leading a third proposal to the Senate parliamentarian for including immigrant relief in the Build Back Better Act (BBB), Joe Biden’s signature social spending bill. (Reporting by @PabloReports)#LatinoRebelsDChttps://t.co/bbmvJ978e3
— Latino Rebels (@latinorebels) October 27, 2021
But the announcement by the White House is consistent with the negotiating position held by the House Progressive Caucus since shortly after the budget reconciliation framework of $3.5 trillion dollars was announced over the summer, a negotiating position which includes five pillars, with immigration reform among them.
House progressives have as much or more leverage in the two-track legislative approach as their much-publicized Senate colleagues, Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), who have negotiated for months against some of the bill’s most popular elements.
Pablo Manríquez is the Washington correspondent for Latino Rebels. Twitter: @PabloReports