House Democrats’ DREAM Act will “probably not” get a vote in the Senate, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Wednesday.
The Kentucky Republican’s rejection of the legislation that would give a path to citizenship to immigrants brought to the United States as children is just the latest example of the Senate Republican majority sidelining House-passed legislation. McConnell said that he would want to see a broader approach on immigration before the Senate would take it up.
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The House passed its bill on Wednesday, the most significant immigration bill to pass a chamber of Congress in six years.
“The Dreamers have a sympathetic case. There are circumstances under which I and others would be happy to support that. But we need to do more than that. You know there’s some genuine fixes on the legal immigration side and on the illegal immigration side that need to be addressed,” McConnell said on Fox News Radio. “There is a perfectly legitimate case for the Dreamers … but I think we need to do more than just that. And that’s the context in which I would deal with that issue in the Senate.
The Senate failed to pass an immigration deal last year after a short debate, with most Republicans opposing a bill aiding Dreamers and providing $25 billion in border security and scant support for President Donald Trump’s immigration plan either. Since passing a comprehensive bill in 2013 that the House ignored, the Senate has sputtered in its immigration debates despite broad agreement that Congress has failed to address the problem.
McConnell blamed Democrats for not acting when they had total control of the government in 2009-10, though two recent years of total Republican rule were no more fruitful. The administration also opposes the House Democrats’ bill.
“Immigration is an area that there is bipartisan responsibility for failure to act,” McConnell said.
The majority leader has also declined to take up House-passed bills addressing ethics and corruption and gun background checks, leading to a bicameral Democratic campaign against his “legislative graveyard.”