While everyone is gushing over Oprah Winfrey, the Democrats in D.C. can hide the fact that they’re holding the spending bill hostage over the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) program.

Before Christmas, Congress passed a short term spending bill to keep the government running until January 19. The Democrats have made it clear they want full legalization of DACA recipients while Republicans have mentioned a wall and actual reforms to our immigration system.

Byron York describes it perfectly at The Washington Examiner (emphasis mine):

That’s where funding the government comes in. A temporary funding resolution passed last month expires on Jan. 19. Congress can pass a “clean” bill to avoid a partial shutdown, or it can have a fight if one party tries to attach unrelated policy preferences to the must-pass spending bill.

That is the traditional Republican role, which has led Republicans to believe that they always lose shutdown fights. But it is probably more accurate to say that Republicans don’t always lose shutdown fights — it is the party that tries to attach unrelated policy preferences to must-pass spending bills that loses shutdown fights. In the past, that has been Republicans. This time, it might be Democrats.

The Democrats have pounced and insisted on DACA legalization in exchange for their support to keep the government funded. You know, something that is not remotely connected to keeping the government afloat.

DACA Through Congress

Ever since President Donald Trump came into office, the Democrats have all of a sudden cared about the Constitution. I find this hilarious, especially concerning DACA since that came to fruition via a memo from the Department of Homeland Security.

Last September, Trump said DACA will end in March if Congress cannot come to an agreement. In other words, Trump sent DACA where it should have started in the first place: Congress. This is too difficult for the Constitution-loving Democrats. Everything must be by the Constitution except this.

In October, Trump even said that he will extend the deadline if Congress cannot get its act together and pass something. The Washington Post reported at the time:

Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) said Trump told him he was willing to “give it some more time” to allow lawmakers to find a solution for “dreamers,” unauthorized immigrants brought to this country as children, if Congress does not pass legislation extending protections before time is up.

“The president’s comment to me was that, ‘We put a six-month deadline out there. Let’s work it out. If we can’t get it worked out in six months, we’ll give it some more time, but we’ve got to get this worked out legislatively,’ ” Lankford said outside a town hall here Thursday night.

Trump did not specify how long an extension might last, Lankford said.

“He wants a legislative solution,” the senator said. “His focus was, ‘We’ve got to get a legislative solution.’”

As Kemberlee noted in her post, Republicans aren’t against those in DACA. They do not approve of the way the program came about. DACA is not a law or even an Executive Order. It’s a memo from DHS.

The Real Bullies?

Democrats have enjoyed painting Republicans as bullies in Congress, but their actions concerning DACA and the spending bill shows America they are the actual bullies. I actually prefer to call them toddlers.

Why is that? They said they would support a spending bill if it includes legalizing DACA recipients. The Republicans and Trump have said okay, as long as it also includes funding for a wall and immigration reforms.

Like toddlers, the Democrats have stomped their feet and cried because they did not fully get their way. Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin has taken the reigns as the biggest crybaby. From Politico:

“President Trump has said he may need a good government shutdown to get his wall. With this demand, he seems to be heading in that direction,” Durbin said in a statement. “It’s outrageous that the White House would undercut months of bipartisan efforts by again trying to put its entire wish list of hardline anti-immigrant bills — plus an additional $18 billion in wall funding — on the backs of these young people.”

Excuse me, Dick? Do you have a mirror nearby because the Democrats are the ones who have said they won’t support a spending bill unless they get their way.

Also, Dick, Trump didn’t even bring up the wall in this round of government shutdown negotiations until the Democrats demanded DACA citizenship. York explained (emphasis mine):

But Trump, who in the past has threatened a government shutdown over the wall, is now proposing trading his policy preferences — the wall, etc. — in exchange for DACA legalization. “The wall is going to happen, or we’re not going to have DACA,” he said recently. He hasn’t demanded they be passed in order to keep the government running. Durbin is suggesting Democrats demand DACA passage to keep the government in business.

It’s a losing strategy. Democrats could have pursued it when government funding came up in December. But when push came to shove, they didn’t. Now, will they try for real?

So no, the Republicans are not at fault here. They’re holding government spending hostage over DACA.

York mentioned a few avenues the Democrats and Republicans could take like maybe a down payment on the wall for around $1.6 million:

Can Trump get what he wants, or part of what he wants? At the moment, Democrats seem determined to throw their bodies in front of any plan to build a wall. The president has asked Congress to put aside $18 billion over the next ten years for the job. That seems doomed.

But what about some other idea? What about passing a down payment — the House has already approved $1.6 billion — as part of another plan?

“One possibility would be a relatively modest down payment that Democrats could swallow,” said the GOP lawmaker, “and then authorization for a user-fee model for future years. So a fee for visas or border crossings could be turned into a dedicated revenue stream for wall construction.” (That would, by the way, mean that, yes, Mexico pays for the wall, or at least a significant part of it.)

But the fact remains if there is a shut down, it will fall on the Democrats shoulders.


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