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2:55, 16 January 2018

As Shutdown Talk Rises, Trump’s Immigration Words Pose Dangers for Both Parties

As Shutdown Talk Rises, Trump’s Immigration Words Pose Dangers for Both Parties


WASHINGTON — President Trump’s incendiary words about immigration have dampened the prospects that a broad spending and immigration deal can be reached by the finish of the week, raising the possibility of a government shutdown with unknown political consequences for lawmakers in both parties.

Democrats facing re-election in states that Mr. Trump carried in 2016 fear that a government funding crisis, precipitated by an immigration showdown, could imperil their campaigns. And they are growing increasingly uneasy that liberal colleagues eyeing White Property bids are demanding that any spending bill beyond a stopgap measure that expires on Jan. 19 incorporate protections for undocumented immigrants brought to the United States illegally as children.

“Welcome to our globe,” stated Senator Claire McCaskill, Democrat of Missouri, who is running for re-election in a state that Mr. Trump carried by 19 percentage points.

“We’ve got folks running for president all attempting to find their base, and then you have got people from Trump states that are attempting to continue to legislate the way we always have — by negotiation,” Ms. McCaskill mentioned. “And in no way the twain shall meet.”

But Republicans face their own uncertainties. With their party controlling the White Residence and both chambers of Congress, they could acquire most of the blame for a shutdown, even if Senate Democrats successfully block a spending strategy that does not extend the immigrant protections of an Obama-era program recognized as the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA.

“To believe that you can successfully blame Democrats for a shutdown over the DACA debate is naïve,” mentioned Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina.

The angry recriminations continued from allegations that Mr. Trump named African nations “shithole countries” throughout a White Residence meeting final week with lawmakers.

The president on Monday attacked Senator Richard J. Durbin of Illinois, the No. two Democrat who is leading the immigration talks for his party and attended the White Home meeting, as obtaining “totally misrepresented” Mr. Trump’s comments in his public recounting of them. And two Senate Republicans, Tom Cotton of Arkansas and David Perdue of Georgia, have raised inquiries more than whether or not the term was even used, with Mr. Perdue flatly denying it had.

Mr. Graham, who admonished Mr. Trump in the meeting, has called Mr. Durbin’s account fundamentally correct. He took an unmistakable swipe on Monday at Mr. Perdue and Mr. Cotton.

“Since the meeting I don’t keep in mind issues differently,” Mr. Graham mentioned. “I know what I heard, and I know what I said to the president.”

Ten Democratic senators are on the ballot this November in states that are heavily white, have small sympathy for undocumented immigrants and that Mr. Trump won. Many of these lawmakers have no wish to force a government shutdown more than an immigration situation. Some of the party’s most at-danger seats are in Missouri, Indiana, West Virginia and North Dakota.

If they side with Senate Republicans, Congress could pass yet another short-term spending bill by Friday that would finish the shutdown threat for now as negotiations continue.

But some Democrats taking into consideration presidential runs, such as Senators Kamala Harris of California, Cory Booker of New Jersey and Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, are pressing Democrats to oppose any government-funding bill — no matter how quick-term — that does not also protect the about 800,000 young immigrants brought to the United States as kids, known as Dreamers. Mr. Trump rescinded the plan in September and gave Congress six months to enshrine its protections into law.

Mr. Cotton, an immigration challenging-liner, suggested that these Democrats will pay a value if their brinkmanship goes as well far and they are noticed as shutting down the government if they cannot offer amnesty for illegal immigrants.

What most alarms congressional negotiators is that political imperatives appear to have overtaken the immigration policy deliberations in the nevertheless-unfolding debate more than Mr. Trump’s vulgar description in last Thursday’s meeting of some nations.

Two of the Republicans involved in the discussions complained on Monday that the days-extended controversy more than Mr. Trump’s comment had imperiled hopes for an agreement.

Mr. Graham stated he spoke with the president on the telephone on Saturday and urged him to show the sort of leadership and restraint that a lot of Republicans have been pleasantly surprised to see during an earlier, televised immigration discussion in the White House last Tuesday.

“I told him that the President Trump that showed up Tuesday is the one that can lead the nation on a number of levels,” Mr. Graham stated. “I feel the president realizes that it requires a bipartisan remedy. But you’re not going to get a deal by tweeting, you are going to get 1 by speaking.”

Representative Mario Diaz-Balart, Republican of Florida, suggested that the leaks about Mr. Trump’s comments had been as detrimental as the words themselves to the trigger of reaching an accord on immigration.

“You have to be capable to sit down and have true tough, significant conversations,” mentioned Mr. Diaz-Balart. “And these conversations have to be kept inside the folks who are negotiating.”

Mr. Trump seemed to underscore Mr. Diaz-Balart’s remark when he took to Twitter on Monday to mock Mr. Durbin as “Dicky Durbin.”

The president also pressed a talking point that Republicans are certain to use as the government nears its funding deadline: That the concern of the week is not as a lot about immigration as the continued funding of the military.

Both Mr. Graham and Mr. Diaz-Balart were present when Mr. Trump produced the disparaging remarks about African nations, which the president now denies. But the two lawmakers have been reluctant to talk about the matter, not wanting to additional complicate hopes for reaching an agreement.

White Residence officials stated they remain hopeful that an immigration deal can be reached with Democrats regardless of what Marc Brief, the president’s legislative director, called “all the noise.”

“We really feel like there’s still a deal to be created there,” Mr. Quick mentioned on Monday. “Things we are asking for are typical sense.”

Mr. Quick stated that the proposal offered by Mr. Graham and Mr. Durbin, which was summarily rejected by Mr. Trump for the duration of the contentious Oval Office meeting final week, remains the most probably basis for compromise as lawmakers and the White Residence try to find frequent ground.

“It is on the table as a starting point for the congressional conversations,” Mr. Short mentioned. He said these negotiations will commence once more in earnest on Tuesday, hosted by Representative Kevin McCarthy of California, the House majority leader, who dined with the president at the Trump International Golf Club in West Palm Beach on Sunday night.

The negotiators contain Mr. Durbin, who told regional reporters in Illinois on Monday that he stood by his account of Thursday’s meeting with the president.

“I know what occurred. I stand behind every word I said,” he said, adding that he is focused on the immigration legislation “full time.”

A White House official who spoke on condition of anonymity suggested on Monday that Mr. Trump had mentioned “shithouse countries,” not “shithole countries.” Mr. Durbin expressed disbelief that any person would see a substantive difference between the terms.

“I stick with my original interpretation. I am stunned that this is their defense,” he mentioned.

Two Republican officials independently stated on Monday that Mr. Trump had stated the original phrase.

Mr. Short said the existing proposal devised by Mr. Graham and Mr. Durbin did not do adequate to satisfy the president’s demands for enhanced border security. And, he stated, it failed to broadly end what Republicans contact “chain migration,” a procedure by which American citizens can at some point bring their extended families into the United States over a period of a lot of years.

Mr. Quick argued that the existing proposal would in fact improve the potential of DACA recipients to bring some family members into the nation since, below their current legal status, they are barred from sponsoring entry for anybody else.

“Their proposal only expands chain migration for that group,” he mentioned.

Beneath stress from immigrant rights activists, Democrats are probably to resist broader efforts to limit immigrants from sponsoring their household members, an thought that Democrats view favorably as “family reunification” — a part of American immigration law for decades.

Mr. Brief also urged Democrats to place off efforts to address immigrants from Haiti, Honduras, El Salvador and other countries who have been in the United States below a program named Short-term Protected Status. The Graham-Durbin plan called for issuing new visas for those immigrants after the Trump administration stated they would end T.P.S. status for folks from these countries.

“I don’t feel we envision it as element of this deal,” Mr. Brief said of the T.P.S. program. “That expands it into complete immigration reform.”

For Democratic lawmakers, the pressure from their left flank to demand relief for the Dreamers is only increasing.

“We are going to be telling Democrats the following: If you vote for a spending bill that does not incorporate relief for Dreamers, you are voting for funds that will be utilized to deport Dreamers,” said Frank Sharry, executive director of America’s Voice, an immigrants rights group.

But the wisdom of sooner or later forcing a shutdown to shield the migrants is dividing the celebration.

Some Democratic strategists, such as former Representative Steve Israel of New York, stated Democrats must seize their leverage now that Republicans already have adequate political headaches, namely the president’s historic unpopularity.

“They definitely have the upper hand as a matter of policy and as also as a matter of politics,” said Mr. Israel. “Republicans can’t afford to shut down the government in one of the roughest midterm environments they’ve ever had. Democrats have the upper hand and they ought to play the upper hand.”

However to other Democrats, forcing a government shutdown in the exact same fashion that congressional Republicans did in President Barack Obama’s second term would be to take a considerable political risk, the legislative equivalent of the nuclear choice.

“It appears like a huge Washington mess to people,” said David Axelrod, Mr. Obama’s former prime strategist. “Dealing with Trump is certainly a very, quite difficult problem not just for Democrats but for Republicans because he is so mercurial and unreliable. The question is: Have you reached that point now exactly where you want to employ what is the most explosive tool in your toolbox?”

Or as Ms. McCaskill put it: “I am not interested in drawing a line in sand as negotiations continue due to the fact I think that is how negotiations get blown up.”


Published at Tue, 16 Jan 2018 01:32:40 +0000

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