After Passing Budget Deal, Congress Turns To Immigration Without A Clear Plan

Pomona students gather to call local representatives in an effort to pass the DREAM Act on Feb. 7

Chain migration has become the chief sticking point in the Senate's immigration negotiations, with Democrats and some Republicans looking for ways to keep most of the current system intact while not rewarding the very parents who brought "Dreamers" to the USA illegally.

"I am pleased to announce that our bipartisan, bicameral negotiations on defense spending and other priorities have yielded a significant agreement", McConnell said.

The federal government will shutter nonessential operations Thursday at midnight unless Congress passes a spending plan. Bob Goodlatte, and Democrats have said they won't support it.

"We have decoupled the issues".

"As much as Republicans have been acting as though Dreamers are a hook for them to extract concessions, the truth is it's ultimately awful for them to be on the wrong side of this issue", Wikler said.

"I would like to think the president is going to support the bill we advance". Just three weeks ago, Senate Democrats sparked a three-day partial government shutdown by staging a filibuster on a spending bill, seeking relief for "Dreamer" immigrants who've lived in the country illegally since they were children. The House voted 240-186 to approve the bill just before dawn Eastern time, hours after the Senate had approved the measure on a 71-28 vote.

Very soon, Republicans in Congress will be able to demonstrate their honesty and courage on this issue and pass a DACA bill outside of other immigration issues.

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is ignoring a request by White House officials to use President Donald Trump's immigration proposal to begin Senate debate on the issue. "We can do something today to at least make whole the children".

Trump has said he won't sign immigration legislation unless it addresses "four pillars": legal protections for DREAMers; money for border security and a wall; changes to family based or "chain" migration; and an end to the diversity visa lottery program.

"First of all, we have the Senate procedure, which is my hope".

"That's what I'm working on", said Mr. Durbin.

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SNELL: That kind of depends on who you ask. "Hopefully we could gather 60 votes for that".

Speaker Paul Ryan still maintains that he will not hold a debate or vote on immigration reform within the House unless the discussed plan is approved by the president. Some other veteran Democrats - some of whom said holding the budget deal hostage to action on Dreamer immigrants had already proven to be a failed strategy - appeared more likely to support the agreement than junior progressives elected in recent years.

Mr. Rounds said the group isn't looking to fulfill all of Mr. Trump's wish list, "but I think we can touch on the different pieces that are important".

If Ryan's assertion, backed by House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, that the majority of Republicans will vote for the bill is true, he has no reason not to put the bill on the floor.

Rep. Mark Walker, R-N.C., who chairs another conservative group within the GOP conference that is closer to Republican leadership - the Republican Study Committee - said he doesn't plan to vote for the bill. "The Senate, when they gave up on not voting for it, at the very minimum extracted a time certain and a debate on something".

Democrats also may have some Republican supporters in the House to pressure Ryan. "But even if he doesn't, he can veto it", said Pennsylvania Rep. Charlie Dent, a moderate who is retiring next year.

SNELL: Well, majority say they voted their principles and voted against this, but there is a lot of concern, and there has been a lot of concern that Republicans promised voters that they would be bringing that Congress further to the right. "We could vote on it 90-10".

The open process "may not yield anything, and that's risky in and of itself", he said.

"I think we could get votes for a bill that could go to the White House that would become law without his signature, and the idea that we would empower him to somehow have a pre-veto over legislation that hasn't even gone through the process is ridiculous", said Rep. Dan Kildee.

Democrats opted to stay in Washington so that they could vote on the spending legislation and not be blamed for leaving town on the verge of a Friday morning partial government shutdown. "Can you continue to threaten with something?" Republicans blaming Democrats. Democrats blaming Republicans.

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