Tuesday, December 19, 2017

DACA Set back

DACA ON THE BACK BURNER: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell enumerated a list Monday of "important tasks" he hopes to tackle this week, and the DACA program didn't make the cut, POLITICO's Sarah Ferris reports. Congress needs to pass a spending bill by Friday to avoid a government shutdown, and some Democrats hoped to use the must-pass legislation as the vehicle for a DACA fix. But President Donald Trump told Republican senators last month that he didn't want to deal with so-called "Dreamers" in a spending bill, and the message apparently got through. On Monday, McConnell cited the need to fund children's healthcare, to shore up natural disaster recovery, and to stabilize Obamacare insurance exchanges, among other matters, but he steered clear of immigration.
Even without DACA, it's not certain the two sides will strike a deal, Ferris reports. "Shortly after McConnell spoke on Monday, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer accused him and House Speaker Paul Ryan of canceling the latest round of talks to fund the government past Friday night - suggesting a rocky week ahead," writes Ferris. The Senate leaders, along with their counterparts in the House, have been meeting for weeks to discuss a two-year spending measure that would raise spending caps for defense and domestic programs. "That agreement, which sources have said is within reach, would likely include some of these long-simmering issues on McConnell's to-do list," writes Ferris. 
Democrats have backed away from threatening a shutdown over DACA, but they haven't abandoned efforts to pass a bill this year. "Schumer said Monday that he is still pushing for a separate immigration deal to be attached, providing protections for so-called Dreamers coupled with additional border security," Ferris reports. "Several liberal Democrats have threatened to vote against a funding bill without a fix for the young undocumented immigrants, even as House Republicans have demanded that it be separate from spending talks." 
Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas) said Monday that a DACA deal wouldn't be part of a spending bill, but that the issue wouldn't be abandoned. "We really do believe that [DACA] is something that can be solved and there's ongoing discussions to try to come up with that," he told reporters, adding that it was "unrealistic" to think they could have tackled the issue along with taxes and other spending priorities. More from POLITICO here.
From Politico 

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