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Politics DACA negotiations: Key questions to avoiding a shutdown

18:07  11 january  2018
18:07  11 january  2018 Source:   cnn.com

White House slams Democrats as 'obstructionist losers'

  White House slams Democrats as 'obstructionist losers' The White House issued a harshly worded statement late Friday condemning the Senate's failure to avert a government shutdown, calling Senate Democrats "obstructionist losers, not legislators." "Senate Democrats own the Schumer Shutdown. Tonight, they put politics above our national security, military families, vulnerable children, and our country's ability to serve all Americans," White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said, referring to Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer, in a statement.

DACA negotiations full steam ahead despite ruling, sources say. Again, work on DACA is still underway on several fronts (which is part of the problem), but that calculation by GOP leadership raises two questions that must be answered affirmatively -- or a government shutdown is really on the table

On shutdown and DACA fix, more questions than answers. DACA parents become flashpoint in negotiations . Congressional agenda this week: Avoiding a shutdown , searching for DACA fix. House GOP immigration negotiations continue ahead of key Thursday meeting.

US President Donald Trump, meets with Congressional leadership including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (C), Republican of Kentucky, and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (R), in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, DC, December 7, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / SAUL LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images) © SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images US President Donald Trump, meets with Congressional leadership including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (C), Republican of Kentucky, and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (R), in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, DC, December 7, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / SAUL LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

For all the ongoing negotiations, groups, and proposals related to the expiring Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, senior Republicans in both chambers have shifted gears fully to the idea that the government will need to be funded on January 19 without a DACA solution.

McConnell takes hard line after failed shutdown vote

  McConnell takes hard line after failed shutdown vote Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) ripped Democrats for forcing a "completely avoidable" shutdown seconds after the gavel fell on a 50-49 vote failing to advance legislation to avoid a shutdown. McConnell spoke after the Senate missed a deadline for passing legislation to prevent a shutdown and about two hours after the vote began.

DACA negotiations full steam ahead despite ruling, sources say. Trump calls for DACA fix, still wants wall in bipartisan immigration talk. If the answer is "no" to one or both of the above, there's a shutdown problem. But will a shutdown happen?

For all the proposals related to the expiring DACA program, Republicans have shifted gears to the idea that the government will need to be funded on January 19 without a solution.

Even the most optimistic say the chance of any agreement on immigration proposals coming together that Republican leaders are willing to move forward on isn't in the cards.

The two key questions

Again, work on DACA is still underway on several fronts (which is part of the problem), but that calculation by GOP leadership raises two questions that must be answered affirmatively -- or a government shutdown is really on the table:

1. Can House Republicans secure 218 votes for a short-term spending bill on their own -- as they did in December -- even though the promises made to defense hawks haven't been fulfilled?

2. Can Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell pick off a handful of Democrats for a short-term spending bill in the Senate despite how furious the base is over DACA and how much the caucus wants to stay unified?

Former RNC chair: 'This shutdown rests at the feet of the GOP'

  Former RNC chair: 'This shutdown rests at the feet of the GOP' Former Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairman Michael Steele says that the GOP is to blame for the government shutdown after lawmakers missed the deadline to pass a funding bill late Friday."Despite the rhetorical effort to paste Democrats with 'Schumer's Shutdown' and to redefine what constitutes majority control of the Senate ('60'? Really?), the fact remains that this shutdown rests at the feet of the GOP and it appears a majority of Americans agree," Steele told Politico.

The key player: It's the President. Period. DACA negotiations reach critical week. Congress eyes sweeteners to avoid shutdown , but no DACA deal. On shutdown and DACA fix, more questions than answers.

DACA negotiations full steam ahead despite ruling, sources say. Again, work on DACA is still underway on several fronts (which is part of the problem), but that calculation by GOP leadership raises two questions that must be answered affirmatively -- or a government shutdown is really on the table

If the answer is "no" to one or both of the above, there's a shutdown problem.

But will a shutdown happen?

Nobody in either party's leadership wants it. That's about as far as you can go in stating what's going to happen at this point.

What Senate Republicans think: There's no way Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer can keep the entire caucus together -- especially those in tough 2018 races in Trump-friendly states -- to oppose a short-term spending bill on DACA grounds. And if it looks like he can, keep in mind that things like the re-authorization of the Children's Health Insurance Program, and a more than-$80 billion disaster relief package, can also be brought up by McConnell to make that vote especially painful.

What Senate Democrats think: To be perfectly clear, the caucus isn't unified on this, but for the large majority of the caucus, this isn't a bluff. This issue is real, the moment is now, the mechanism is the spending bill and the reasons -- the approximately 700,000 DACA recipients, thousands of whom had already lost their protection due to the administration's decision -- are at the core of what they believe and campaign on.

Senator says she will donate salary for every day government is shut down

  Senator says she will donate salary for every day government is shut down Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) announced on Saturday that she would donate her salary for every day the federal government remains shut down. "I will not go home and take my salary for as long as my constituents are being impacted by President Trump's irresponsible choice to shut down the government," Cortez Masto said in a statement."It is time to work together on a bipartisan compromise that puts D reamers on a pathway to citizenship and ensures the long-term health, economic and security of Nevadans."Senate Democrats and Republicans failed to meet a midnight deadline on Friday to reach an agreement to fund the government.

DACA negotiations full steam ahead despite ruling, sources say. Again, work on DACA is still underway on several fronts (which is part of the problem), but that calculation by GOP leadership raises two questions that must be answered affirmatively -- or a government shutdown is really on the table

DACA negotiations full steam ahead despite ruling, sources say. Again, work on DACA is still underway on several fronts (which is part of the problem), but that calculation by GOP leadership raises two questions that must be answered affirmatively -- or a government shutdown is really on the table

Just saying: Yes, Republicans have serious problems finding a way forward on this in their conferences (especially in the House.) But it's not like Democrats are in lock step on supporting whatever bipartisan agreement is released. Many, especially in the House, are extremely uncomfortable with the direction the talks have headed.

Can a DACA agreement still come together?

Yes. Absolutely. The issue is timing. And policy.

Two things to note here: First, there is genuine desire to deal with this issue -- it's very personal for a lot of members and senators -- and GOP leaders know they need to get it off their plate as soon as possible or face a 2018 poisoned by the issue.

But the best chance for a bipartisan deal to date -- the Senate working group that has been at it for months -- has headed in a direction a majority of the Republicans in the conference are unwilling to go, many senators and aides tell me.

And yet: That bipartisan working group -- Sens. Dick Durbin, Jeff Flake, Lindsey Graham, Michael Bennet, Cory Gardner and Bob Menendez -- has continued to hammer away at this and should have some kind of product in the coming days, sources say. We'll see if that changes the direction of things, which at this point, is in an absurdly muddled place.

The key player: It's the President. Period. He can and likely will make or break whatever proposals (that are deemed serious) come out. And the work behind the scenes between competing interests and close allies (think Sen. Tom Cotton on one side and Graham on the other) is a fascinating dynamic to keep an eye on at this point.

Tensions Rising as Shutdown Looms .
It’s understandable if you’re experiencing a bit of shutdown fatigue, given the many dire warnings about impending closures of the federal government coming out of Washington over the last few months. It’s understandable if you’re experiencing a bit of shutdown fatigue, given the many dire warnings about impending closures of the federal government coming out of Washington over the last few months. But with Congress repeatedly pushing the legislative envelope, passing one short-term deal after another, the warnings have been warranted, even if a closure has failed to materialize thus far.

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