Illegal migrants let in during the Obama era and long promised amnesty by Democrats have been cleared to work for House members as part of a massive budget approved this week on a party-line vote.
Liberal members led by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez heralded the $4.8 billion bill, which she said included a 21% increase for staffing.
Washington Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton gave it two thumbs up because it also cleared the way for scooters on Capitol Hill and permitted the locals to sled there after snowstorms.
Norton called it a “salute to D.C. residents, who should have full use of the complex, one of the best parks in the District.”
The bill funds House and Capitol operations, including the Capitol Police, which would receive $603.9 million — a 17% boost over last year, during which the pro-Trump protest occurred. The funding would cover unfunded overtime from that crisis.
A Senate version has yet to pass. The House bill passed 215-207 with just one GOP vote.
One unusual element of the legislation is the approval of allowing members and House offices to hire “Dreamers,” those allowed into the country during the Obama administration under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. There are an estimated 800,000 people in the program.
During the Trump administration, liberal efforts to grant the illegal immigrants amnesty were stalled. President Joe Biden has promised to grant them a path to citizenship.
The vote came two weeks after a federal judge ruled that the Obama DACA program was illegal, ending applications into it and putting the citizenship status of "Dreamers" into doubt.
The bill would also expand pay for interns.
"I am also pleased that we are helping ensure our workforce reflects the diversity of our nation, including by increasing funding for paid internships and allowing DACA recipients to work in the halls of Congress,” said Ohio Democratic Rep. Tim Ryan, who leads the legislative appropriations subcommittee.
Ocasio-Cortez was one of several House members who pushed for the staffing increase and funding to bring in a more diverse workforce.
“Last night, Congress passed the 21% increase we asked for back in June. This is an important step towards retaining staff, increasing Hill diversity & growing the practice of paid internships,” she tweeted.
The bill did not raise pay levels for House members or leaders.
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Original Author: Paul Bedard
Original Location: House OK’s hiring illegal migrants on staff, fattens budget 21%