Democrats stand ground against GOP immigration amendments – JP
Republicans had hoped the moderate Democrats who broke with their party in April would do so again on Lankford’s amendment, which needed a simple majority to be adopted. But the amendment was defeated in a 50-50 party-line vote.
Then, Democrats used a procedural maneuver to ensure their vulnerable members could safely cast a vote to keep the Title 42 directive in place, which could help them politically during a historically busy period at the U.S.-Mexico border.
Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., offered a similar amendment to extend Title 42 border restrictions. But, crucially, the amendment did not include any funding changes, which violated a Senate rule that requires provisions in reconciliation bills to be strictly budgetary in nature. Lankford’s amendment would have passed muster under the rules.
Majority Whip Richard J. Durbin, D-Ill., raised a point of order against Tester’s amendment, which triggered a motion to waive it. Under Senate rules, the motion was subject to a 60-vote threshold instead of a simple majority.
That gave cover for Tester and five other Democrats — Catherine Cortez Masto of Nevada, Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire, Raphael Warnock of Georgia and Mark Kelly and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona — to join every Republican and vote for Tester’s amendment without worrying it would be added to the bill or jeopardize the overall package.