As Budget Battle Intensifies Immigration Comes in Focus

As the legislative battle to prevent a government shutdown continues, Democratic leaders intent on winning a legislative fix for DACA have signaled flexibility.

Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said in a statement accepting an invitation to meet at the White House on Thursday that a “bipartisan deal” could be reached to pass the “DREAM Act along with tough border security measures.”

“There is a bipartisan path forward on all of these items,” they said in the statement that also underlines the need to increase defense and nondefense spending and provide disaster aid.

Senate Republicans were much more uncompromising, with Whip John Cornyn maintaining that a year-end spending bill would under no circumstance include language to protect young undocumented immigrants.

A day before, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell also said Democrats were in no position to demand that a fix on the issue be included in the funding bill.

“I don’t think the Democrats would be very smart to say they want to shut down the government over a nonemergency,” McConnell said.

However, both Cornyn and McConnell noted a deal on “Dreamers” could be reached before March when their protection ends, but not as part of the spending bill.

Schumer and Pelosi said they were “glad the White House has reached out” and expressed hopes that Trump would go into the meeting with “an open mind,” The Hill reports.

Lawmakers will most likely approve a two-week measure to avoid a government shutdown on Saturday when its funding expires.

Congressional Republicans would use that two-week period to agree to top-line numbers for the budget and then approve another temporary funding measure lasting until January. They would then vote on a bill to fund the government through the rest of the fiscal year.

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