Senators eye funding to save immigration reform bill

Senate negotiators of a broad immigration bill have all but scrapped the idea of an emergency supplemental appropriations bill for border security in favor of an amendment to the bill that would provide $4.4 billion in mandatory funds immediately upon enactment.

Republicans outside the negotiating team are saying they would prefer the supplemental.

"I would like the emergency supplemental because I think that shows a strong commitment, and if the bill takes a longer time, which it well could, the emergency supplemental could be begun quicker. I think a show of commitment like that would be really encouraging to the American people," said Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas, one of the Republicans being wooed to support the bipartisan compromise.

Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., who, with Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., requested an emergency supplemental earlier in the week, said he has not yet discussed with the immigration negotiators the idea of mandatory spending for border security in the bill.

"I really stick with what Saxby and I said in the letter that the confidence level requires an emergency supplemental that appropriates the money," Isakson said. "If it's decoupled from any perceived trade-off for something else, then people don't think it's the real deal."

Senate Republican Conference Chairman Jon Kyl of Arizona hinted that an emergency supplemental spending bill is not off the table, noting that Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., could act on his own while negotiations continue on floor strategy. "The leader might decide to take care of the funding issue itself," he said.

Majority Whip Richard Durbin, D-Ill., and Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., joined negotiators in a meeting Thursday morning to discuss floor strategy. Kyl said Durbin and other leadership staff are working to fit a second immigration debate into the floor schedule.

"Those of us who are interested in getting the bill passed are working to present to the leaders what they need to call the bill up and get it done before the Fourth of July," Kyl said.

Schumer is interested in tinkering with provisions in the bill dealing with employment verification and Social Security cards, Kyl said. The list of amendments that would require floor votes is more or less settled, according to Kyl, but negotiators are attempting to resolve individual senators' concerns before the floor debate to make it easier for Reid to schedule it.

"There are a certain number of amendments that members have a right to offer, and they're going to offer their amendments, and those are going to get resolved," Kyl said. "On other things, if we can work it out, it'll just make it a lot easier to get to a final vote on the bill."

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by Brocade

    Best of 2016 Federal Forum eBook

    Earlier this summer, Federal and tech industry leaders convened to talk security, machine learning, network modernization, DevOps, and much more at the 2016 Federal Forum. This eBook includes a useful summary highlighting the best content shared at the 2016 Federal Forum to help agencies modernize their network infrastructure.

    Download
  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    GBC Flash Poll Series: Merger & Acquisitions

    Download this GBC Flash Poll to learn more about federal perspectives on the impact of industry consolidation.

    Download
  • Sponsored by One Identity

    One Nation Under Guard: Securing User Identities Across State and Local Government

    In 2016, the government can expect even more sophisticated threats on the horizon, making it all the more imperative that agencies enforce proper identity and access management (IAM) practices. In order to better measure the current state of IAM at the state and local level, Government Business Council (GBC) conducted an in-depth research study of state and local employees.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    The Next Federal Evolution of Cloud

    This GBC report explains the evolution of cloud computing in federal government, and provides an outlook for the future of the cloud in government IT.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    A DevOps Roadmap for the Federal Government

    This GBC Report discusses how DevOps is steadily gaining traction among some of government's leading IT developers and agencies.

    Download
  • Sponsored by LTC Partners, administrators of the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program

    Approaching the Brink of Federal Retirement

    Approximately 10,000 baby boomers are reaching retirement age per day, and a growing number of federal employees are preparing themselves for the next chapter of their lives. Learn how to tackle the challenges that today's workforce faces in laying the groundwork for a smooth and secure retirement.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise

    Cyber Defense 101: Arming the Next Generation of Government Employees

    Read this issue brief to learn about the sector's most potent challenges in the new cyber landscape and how government organizations are building a robust, threat-aware infrastructure

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    GBC Issue Brief: Cultivating Digital Services in the Federal Landscape

    Read this GBC issue brief to learn more about the current state of digital services in the government, and how key players are pushing enhancements towards a user-centric approach.

    Download
  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    Joint Enterprise Licensing Agreements

    Read this eBook to learn how defense agencies can achieve savings and efficiencies with an Enterprise Software Agreement.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Cloudera

    Government Forum Content Library

    Get all the essential resources needed for effective technology strategies in the federal landscape.

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.