The GOP Can't Get Burnt on DACA Deal

Cheryl Sanders
January 13, 2018

"President Trump has a history of being able to negotiate his way through tricky situations", said Vlad Davidiuk, Communications Director with the Harris County Republican Party.

It was just yesterday that President Trump hosted lawmakers from both parties at the White House and said he would sign any DACA bill that they sent him. Diaz says that now members of Congress are back to square one.

That meeting led to Trump's decision this week to task his trusted chief of staff John Kelly to play point on immigration as lawmakers debate a border wall and the fate of young people brought into the country illegally as children, a senior White House official told McClatchy.

Trump Physical

On Wednesday, several House Republicans released their own hardline immigration bill.

To start with, it was puzzling when President Donald Trump had an hour's worth of televised negotiating with members of Congress on rescuing the 800,000 or so "dreamers" the other day.

Without congressional action, the program will end March 5.

Senate negotiators were trying to get legislation assembled by next week so it could possibly be attached to a spending bill that Congress will have to pass to avoid government shutdowns after January 19. Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn, R-Texas, said he hasn't even seen the agreement. Why exactly? Why is that better than choosing people we most need, who are just as human and worthy of our sympathy as those less likely to confer benefits or who come from other places?

"We need permanent legislative solution to DACA, not a drawn out legal fight, and this ruling ups the ante for Congress to act", said John Rowe, Exelon Chairman Emeritus and IBIC Co-Chair, "There is only one real path forward: either Congress will pass a legislative solution to DACA, or almost 800,000 DACA recipients will lose their ability to live and work legally in this country". The White House on Wednesday morning called the decision "outrageous".

If Trump can bring enough attention to the GOP side of the immigration debate, a win-win bipartisan deal might be possible. Durbin is blunt. He says he doesn't love making all the tradeoffs Republicans are demanding.

"I'll take all the heat you want... but you are not that far away from comprehensive immigration reform", the president said.

When U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) asked if he would support "a clean DACA [Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals] bill", the president replied, "Yeah, I would like - I would like to do that".

What Senate Republicans think: There's no way Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer can keep the entire caucus together - especially those in tough 2018 races in Trump-friendly states - to oppose a short-term spending bill on DACA grounds.

Conservatives quickly sounded alarms about a process that would lead to a comprehensive agreement on immigration, a path that has always been anathema to many rank-and-file Republicans.

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