“Democrats are loath to be pegged as responsible for shutting down the government”
In a move that’s sure to infuriate their base, Democrats are backing away from demands that a deal be put in place for Dreamers to get the budget deal done. It’s a dramatic shift from just days ago.
Heather Caygle and Elana Schor report at Politico:
Dems back away from brink on Dreamers
Democratic leaders aren’t going to shut down the government to save Dreamers in December.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi haven’t stopped fighting to deliver something on immigration by the end of the month. But they’ve subtly shifted their rhetoric in recent days and aren’t insisting that deportation relief be paired with a government funding bill this year.
Top Democrats’ retreat from demands on a deal before 2018 ensures they won’t get blamed for a possible shutdown and won’t upend Senate talks on a bipartisan deal combining relief for Dreamers with border security. Those negotiations appear to be gaining momentum and may well bear fruit this month, particularly once Republicans reach a final agreement on their long-sought package of tax cuts.
But edging away from a hard-line stance also courts a potential uprising from the left, as frustrated activists have long set their sights on a Dreamer solution this year.
“This is something that the president said he wanted to do. This is something that has a broad bipartisan majority,” said Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), a member of Schumer’s whip team. “Whether we get it done this week or next week, or this month or next month, I think remains to be seen.”…
Democrats are loath to be pegged as responsible for shutting down the government this month. And with Ryan and other leaders saying publicly that they have no plans to couple a legislative fix for Dreamers with spending talks this month, Democrats’ best option may be to push the issue to January.
If you want to know how significant this change is, consider what Nancy Pelosi said during a briefing just last week. When asked if she was going to keep pushing for a deal on DACA, she claimed God was on the side of Democrats.
Here’s what she said, via Grabien:
REPORTER: “Two questions. Back on DACA — have you changed your mind at all about being willing to accept some border wall funding or immigration crackdown funding within a DREAM Act fix?”
PELOSI: “When you say, ‘have you changed your mind,’ we said to the President the night he agreed to the DACA legislation that we have a responsibility to protect our border and we think there are many things we can do working together to do that and members have been working in a bipartisan way to address that. So, we’re not backing off anything, and including meeting the needs of protecting our border.
“We are not going to turn this country into a reign of terror of domestic enforcement, and have the DACA, the DREAMers pay that price. But I’m optimistic. I always have been. God is with us on this. Our country is great. We know their greatness springs from the vitality that newcomers bring to our country.
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