Last week, the Congressional Budget Office released its estimates of the immigration bill’s budgetary and economic impacts. Notably, it found that the Senate’s S.744 bill would cut the budget by $197 billion in the first decade and $700 billion in the second decade. GDP would grow by 3.3% in the first decade, and the labor force would increase by six million people. The U.S. population would grow by 10 million people in the first ten years as a result of the bill.
Opponents of the bill point out that the CBO estimated wages would drop 0.1% in the first ten years, although wages increase by 0.3% in the second ten years according to the report.
The Senate continues to consider amendments, waiting to vote on the bill sometime later this week. Last Tuesday it passed two and rejected two. Not surprisingly, the follow up to the Cornyn amendment that was defeated, put forward by Sens. Hoeven and Corker, does not have the support of Senator Cornyn.
News coming out of the House of Representatives suggest troubled times ahead for immigration reform, even when the vote count in the Senate looks like it will exceed 70 votes. Senator Paul called the bill “already dead” in the House, which may conflict with Representative Goodlatte, ranking chairman in the House Judiciary Committee, and his plans to break the bill into separate pieces. Expect the focus to turn to the House once the Senate finishes considering amendments. Some lobbying groups are already turning their focus there, including the Chamber of Commerce, which introduced an ad in support of the bill featuring Representative Paul Ryan.