Sen. Roger Marshall, R-Kansas, is forcing a vote on a resolution of disapproval of the Biden administration’s “public charge” rule regarding immigrants and welfare — a resolution that the White House announced that President Biden would veto.
Marshall will take to the Senate floor on Wednesday afternoon to make a motion to proceed, triggering a vote on his resolution of disapproval under the Congressional Review Act — which allows lawmakers to object to rules being put forward by the administration. The resolution had been filed by lawmakers in both chambers of Congress earlier this year, with Rep. Troy Nehls, R-Texas, spearheading the effort in the House.
The resolution would nullify the Department of Homeland Security’s rule, introduced last year, that would codify guidance put in place during the Clinton administration and would depart significantly from a now-reversed Trump-era rule issued in 2019 that significantly expanded the forms of welfare that would consider an immigrant as a “public charge.”
The rule would not affect illegal immigrants, and applies primarily to immigrants who have arrived in the U.S. legally and are on some form of temporary visa and are applying for permanent residency in the U.S. Public charge assessments are not made of asylum seekers, refugees and Temporary Protected Status (TPS) recipients.
However, the rule also comes as political discussion about immigration has focused primarily on the massive illegal immigration crisis at the southern border — and as the Biden administration is massively expanding legal migration pathways as part of its effort to tackle the crisis.
The Biden administration has pushed back against criticism of the rule, saying it ensures fair and humane treatment of legal immigrants. In a statement of administration policy on Wednesday, the White House said that President Biden would veto the resolution if it passed.
“[The rule] is an important step towards undoing the damage that resulted from the chilling effect of the 2019 public charge rule and provides a clear, comprehensive, and fair standard for assessing whether a noncitizen is likely to become a public charge,” the statement said. “If Congress were to pass this joint resolution, the President would veto it.”