Politics Senate Democrats Divided Over Whether to Shut Down the Government Over DREAMer Protections

18:52  07 december  2017
18:52  07 december  2017 Source:   The Daily Beast

McConnell vows the government will not shut down

  McConnell vows the government will not shut down Republicans and Democrats are negotiating a budget deal to lift spending caps and a government spending packageSenate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell vowed Tuesday that the government would not shut down in the next few weeks as Democrats and Republicans negotiate year-end deals on government spending.

Senate Democrats are weighing whether to use their ultimate leverage — the threat of a government shutdown in December — in their bid to protect hundreds of thousands of so-called Dreamers from possible deportation. Sen.

In both the House and Senate , Republicans need Democratic votes to keep the government open. That means if a bloc of Democrats oppose a funding bill that does not guarantee legal protection for people who immigrated to the U.S. as children, the government may shut down .

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) (C) and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) (R) participate in a news conference with more than 100 recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival program (DACA) to call on the Senate to support 'The DREAM Act.', on Capitol Hill October 4, 2017 in Washington, DC. © Mark Wilson/Getty Images Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) (C) and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) (R) participate in a news conference with more than 100 recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival program (DACA) to call on the Senate to support 'The DREAM Act.', on Capitol Hill October 4, 2017 in Washington, DC.

A group of Senate Democrats is demanding that an immigration compromise be included in any government funding bill, raising the prospects of a possible government shutdown and rankling members of their own party.

The group is being led by Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), who has insisted that the chamber come to an agreement that shields children of undocumented immigrants from deportation by giving them a legal status. Durbin and some of his colleagues have said they would vote against a year-end spending bill if those protections are not codified by the end of the year. But it’s unclear if he has enough allies to stop a funding bill from becoming law—and not everyone in the party is eager to fight this battle.

Hill Republicans plan two week stopgap bill to avert shutdown

  Hill Republicans plan two week stopgap bill to avert shutdown House Speaker Paul Ryan announced Thursday plans to pass a short-term funding bill to keep the government open while budget talks continue for a longer-term solution. Ryan did not say how long the stopgap spending bill would last, but multiple aides expect it will last through the Friday before Christmas, December 22.In a preview of the coming fight, Ryan also called out the opposing party in his announcement, saying, "If the Senate Democrats choose to filibuster that, they will have chosen to shut the government down, something that we do not want to see.

But now, if the Democrats stonewall the spending bill over an immigration issue and the government shuts down , the media will blame them, right? Don’t make me laugh. There is no scenario where a government shutdown won’t be blamed on the GOP.

It will be interesting to see if Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) joins Harris’ push, given he told ABC’s “This Week” that Democrats shutting down the government over immigration would be “ governmental chaos.”

Congress has until March to hash out a solution on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program that President Donald Trump rescinded in September with a six-month phase-out.

As a solution, Durbin is pushing for the passage of the bipartisan DREAM Act, which he introduced earlier this year with Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.). Durbin wants it passed before the end of the year and has said he is willing to negotiate with Republicans on measures to increase security along the U.S. border with Mexico in return.

But some GOP immigration hardliners—and, more recently, Trump himself—have said any deal on DACA must address so-called chain migration and sanctuary cities. And Senate Republican leaders have already ruled out the idea of dealing with DACA before the end of the year.

Trump threatens government shutdown, blames Democrats

  Trump threatens government shutdown, blames Democrats President Donald Trump said a government shutdown "could happen" and blamed Democrats for the looming threat."Democrats are really looking at something very dangerous for our country. They are looking at shutting down, they want to have illegal immigrants, in many cases people that we don't want in our country," Trump told reporters at the White House. "We don't want to have that, we want to have a great, beautiful, crime-free country.

"I don't think the Democrats would be very smart to say they want to shut down the government over a non-emergency that we can address anytime between now and March," McConnell said.

"I don't think the Democrats would be very smart to say they want to shut down the government over a non-emergency that we can address anytime between now and March," McConnell said.

“I hope that the senators who have said that will take a few minutes and meet with the DREAMers who have come to meet with us, and realize that there’s a sense of urgency,” Durbin told The Daily Beast. “They seem to think that a Senate that’s done nothing—virtually nothing—for an entire calendar year means more time off. I disagree.”

When asked if he would do anything it takes to ensure that DACA is codified in some form before the end of the year, Durbin smiled and walked into an elevator.

Durbin is not alone in his insistence on a DACA fix before the new year. But, so far, few have said they’d vote against a spending bill if DACA is not resolved—a move that would force a shutdown if enough senators are on board. Those who have made that threat include Sens. Kamala Harris (D-CA), Bernie Sanders (I-VT) Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and Cory Booker (D-N.J.).

On Wednesday, a spokesman for Harris reiterated to The Daily Beast that the senator “has been clear she won’t support an end of year spending bill unless this issue has been resolved.”

5 very real scenarios that could lead to a government shutdown

  5 very real scenarios that could lead to a government shutdown Immigration. Obamacare. Taxes. Spending. Trump. There are A LOT of ways the government could shut down by Christmas.Congress has to pass some sort of spending bill by Dec. 8 to keep the lights on, but they may just kick the can down the road until Christmas.

"I don't think the Democrats would be very smart to say they want to shut down the government over a non-emergency that we can address anytime between now and March," McConnell said.

"I don't think the Democrats would be very smart to say they want to shut down the government over a non-emergency that we can address anytime between now and March," McConnell said.

While more liberal Democrats are in agreement on the issue, many of Durbin’s more moderate Democratic colleagues aren’t holding as a hard of a line on DACA.

“I think that’s a false choice,” Coons told The Daily Beast, referring to an immigration compromise and a government shutdown. “We’ve got a lot of unresolved problems facing our country. When Republicans control the House, the Senate, and the White House and we’ve got so many things from fires raging out of control to an unresolved immigration issue to unresolved natural disasters to unaddressed public health issues, my hope would be that we would work together to find a package that addresses all of them before we recess.”

a screenshot of a video game © Photo Illustration by Lyne Lucien/ The Daily Beast

In private conversations with Republican senators, Coons said, he senses an urgency to craft an immigration compromise sooner rather than later. But he doesn’t agree that forcing a government shutdown would be the way to get it done before the end of the year.

“I deeply admire Sen. Durbin’s persistence and commitment and dedication,” Coons said. “But as I just mentioned, there are a lot of other issues on our plate. So to make this a binary choice between, you have to do this or this is going to happen—is a misreading of where we really are.”

House GOP unveils plan to avert government shutdown

  House GOP unveils plan to avert government shutdown House GOP leaders unveiled a plan Saturday to avert a government shutdown next weekend and keep the government open through Dec. 22. The measure would buy time for bipartisan talks on a bigger budget agreement that would give the Pentagon and government agencies significant relief from a pending budget freeze.A temporary spending bill enacted in September expires at midnight on Friday.The move comes despite opposition from some GOP conservatives who think they're being set up for a pre-Christmas deal they won't like.

"I don't think the Democrats would be very smart to say they want to shut down the government over a non-emergency that we can address anytime between now and March," McConnell said.

Trump. There are A LOT of ways the government could shut down by Christmas. 3. Democrats demand protection for dreamers . Meeting with “Chuck and Nancy” today about keeping Alabama race is neck and neck, with voters divided over Roy Moore allegations, poll finds.

Democrats are warning of the risks that could come with waiting too long to codify DACA. Further delays would result in more recipients potentially losing their legal status, and Democrats argue it would throw more chaos and confusion into their daily lives as they prepare for a future in which DACA might not exist.

And then there are the political elements. Democratic grassroots activists have been pushing the party to ensure the passage of the DREAM act ever since Trump nixed the DACA program.

On Saturday, Women’s March—an organization sprung up out of the historic nationwide march against Trump—staged a creative protest in New York City. In conjunction with United We Dream, the largest immigrant youth-led organization in the country, activists walked in black veils and black outfits to symbolize the killing of dreams for these young men and women.

“History will not be kind to those who look for excuses, make up fake deadlines and shirk their responsibility to do what the vast majority of Americans want done,” said Frank Sharry, the executive director of America’s Voice Education Fund. “Young people are losing their toehold in the country that they live in and love. And only Congress can resolve this crisis. The moment of truth is upon us.”

Trump, Hillary Clinton and others congratulate Doug Jones on Alabama victory

  Trump, Hillary Clinton and others congratulate Doug Jones on Alabama victory President Trump along with a slew of other politicians from both sides of the aisle reacted late Tuesday after Democratic Alabama Senate candidate Doug Jones beat out Republican Roy Moore in a special election. Trump congratulated Jones in a tweet on his “hard fought victory” and said Republicans will "have another shot at the seat in a very short period of time.”Hillary Clinton also took to Twitter to congratulate citizens of Alabama for electing a senator “who’ll make them proud.”“Tonight, Alabama voters elected a senator who'll make them proud,” Clinton tweeted.

Meanwhile, some Republicans are divided over what programs the government should pay for, and how much. GOP Rep. There’s a group of Democrats who want to shut the government down over DACA.

"I don't think the Democrats would be very smart to say they want to shut down the government over a non-emergency that we can address anytime between now and March," McConnell said.

But even some of the Senate’s more liberal members don’t appear to be spoiling for a fight over government funding. “I never have made a shutdown threat, and I’m not going to start now,” Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI) told The Daily Beast.

While Democrats agree about the need to pass the DREAM Act, they disagree on timing and strategy. The government is set to run out of money on Friday night at midnight, and House and Senate leaders are discussing a two-week continuing resolution that would keep the government’s lights on until three days before Christmas—forcing lawmakers to act before they leave Washington until the new year.

Trump left open the possibility of a government shutdown either this week or later this month. And though his party controls both houses of Congress, he is laying the groundwork for blaming Democrats for a government shutdown by pinning it on their immigration-related demands.

Democrats are acutely aware of this and appear eager to avoid any of the political fallout that may come in the wake of a shutdown.

“We should fix DACA and we should never shut down the government of the United States,” Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) told The Daily Beast. “And we should never threaten to shut down the government of the United States.”

Trump is set to meet on Thursday with the top four congressional leaders to discuss year-end priorities. And Democrats were already playing defense ahead of the crucial sit-down.

“I haven’t heard anybody on the Democratic side threaten a shutdown—I’ve heard President Trump threaten a shutdown,” Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) told The Daily Beast.

Schumer and Pelosi invited back to White House .
President Donald Trump just can't quit House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. Less than one week after Trump ripped the Democratic congressional leaders as "weak" after they canceled a meeting with him, Pelosi and Schumer said Monday the president had asked them back to the White House for a sit-down Thursday, and that they'd accepted his invitation."We're glad the White House has reached out and asked for a second meeting.

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