WEATHER AUTHORITY : Flash Flood Watch - Flood Advisory - Flash Flood Warning View Alerts
STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

DACA talks hinge on Trump

Leaders of Congress will sit down with key White House staff on Wednesday, and negotiations on immigration policy cou...

Posted: Jan 3, 2018 1:13 PM
Updated: Jan 3, 2018 1:13 PM

Leaders of Congress will sit down with key White House staff on Wednesday, and negotiations on immigration policy could hang in the balance.

As the Senate comes back Wednesday and the House is set to follow next week, lawmakers are returning to their unfinished business that was punted at the end of last year -- including a potential deal on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy.

Sources familiar with ongoing talks say there were no substantial developments over recess

The meeting Wednesday is designed to discuss a deal on budget caps

Sources familiar with ongoing talks say there were no substantial developments over recess, although senators working on negotiations did keep talking and several groups in the House left town with all-but-completed outlines that they opted to wait on rather than leave open to public attack over the break.

But even as negotiations have been making progress, lawmakers have felt President Donald Trump's personal buy-in has remained elusive and, yet, the key to any ultimate deal.

The meeting Wednesday is designed to discuss a deal on budget caps on domestic and military spending with the White House legislative chief and director of the Office of Management and Budget. But Democrats have insisted that any spending deal correspond with resolving DACA -- an Obama administration program that protected young undocumented immigrants who came to the US as children from deportation, which Trump has elected to end.

Trump himself has sent mixed signals to Congress on a deal. When he decided to end the program in September, with a six-month buffer before the bulk of the two-year permits begin expiring, Trump urged Congress to act and praised recipients of DACA as "good, educated and accomplished young people."

Over the holidays, though, Trump demanded that any deal must include his border wall, cuts to family-based migration, ending the diversity lottery, "etc.," he added. On Tuesday, he claimed Democrats were "doing nothing" to save the program that he is terminating and insisted that DACA advocates would come to favor Republicans.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has pledged to hold a vote on an immigration deal if one is reached before January 31.

Negotiations but no breakthroughs

Before Congress left for the holidays, a hodgepodge of groups had been making progress on putting DACA into law along with some border security and immigration enforcement measures.

Senate talks led by Democrat Dick Durbin and Republican Lindsey Graham, which include Republicans Jeff Flake, Cory Gardner, James Lankford and Thom Tillis and Democrat Michael Bennet, are the most substantial discussions, with the more conservative members among the group in touch with Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn and Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley.

On the House side, a handful of Republican members from Speaker Paul Ryan's immigration working group -- though not some key moderate members -- had a meeting at the White House the Tuesday before Christmas as they craft a conservative proposal for release. That meeting included Reps. Mike McCaul, Bob Goodlatte, Raul Labrador, Martha McSally and Mark Meadows, according to a source familiar and first reported by Politico. But the product of that conservative effort is likely to be a starting point in negotiations that will be immediately rejected by Democrats.

Other bipartisan efforts were making progress before the break, including the Problem Solvers Caucus and efforts by Florida Rep. Carlos Curbelo and Texas Rep. Will Hurd in communication with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. But as it became clear no deal would make it to the floor in December, negotiators opted to hold off on publicly releasing any compromises.

And House leadership on both sides has yet to endorse any of the efforts, leaving it unclear which might have legs.

Trump key

The key players all have eyes on Wednesday's meeting as a sign of where Trump might be on the issue.

Throughout the process, lawmakers have felt that the President could make the deal-making easier -- or more difficult -- with a single tweet.

While negotiators hope that if they're able to reach a deal, Trump will be happy to sign something and consider it a victory, there is also a fear that Trump could publicly criticize the deal and scuttle hopes for a compromise.

Republicans who are eager to help the sympathetic population of young immigrants, most of whom have known no other country than America, have hoped that the President will provide them with cover to vote for a deal by coming out in vocal support of it. But hardliners on the President's staff, like close aide Stephen Miller, have generated policy priorities from the White House that are filled with aggressive policies that Democrats -- whose votes will be necessary to pass anything -- consider poison pills.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 473413

Reported Deaths: 9214
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison32339474
Hinds30703575
DeSoto29814346
Jackson23263336
Rankin21111358
Lee14600217
Madison14043265
Jones13165218
Forrest12953233
Lauderdale11418297
Lowndes10249175
Lamar10048128
Pearl River8737209
Lafayette8078136
Hancock7324111
Washington6837147
Oktibbeha6820118
Neshoba6404201
Monroe6372158
Warren6326161
Pontotoc610393
Panola6071124
Bolivar6016143
Marshall5972118
Union564086
Pike5491133
Lincoln5232130
Alcorn520888
George457868
Scott451993
Leflore4401140
Prentiss437276
Itawamba436198
Tippah436180
Simpson4268111
Copiah425586
Wayne424863
Tate4234100
Adams4219114
Yazoo415886
Sunflower4088104
Covington407391
Marion4032100
Leake393185
Coahoma388198
Newton364474
Grenada3517101
Stone345657
Tishomingo324888
Attala321185
Jasper310262
Winston300391
Clay288273
Chickasaw282164
Clarke277487
Calhoun259739
Holmes259485
Smith243947
Yalobusha216747
Tallahatchie215649
Walthall205557
Greene204045
Lawrence203831
Perry196453
Amite193751
Webster191941
Noxubee174538
Montgomery169853
Jefferson Davis165541
Carroll159937
Tunica148434
Benton139433
Kemper137439
Claiborne125634
Choctaw124925
Humphreys123337
Franklin115227
Quitman101825
Wilkinson99835
Jefferson86632
Sharkey62120
Issaquena1916
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 764839

Reported Deaths: 13048
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1089971721
Mobile698041173
Madison48181574
Baldwin35619445
Shelby35053289
Tuscaloosa32903508
Montgomery32475655
Lee21787203
Calhoun19941374
Morgan19234315
Etowah18509422
Marshall17217258
Houston16028347
St. Clair14866275
Limestone14059179
Elmore13943241
Cullman13942234
Lauderdale13030266
Talladega12307211
DeKalb11829226
Walker10171306
Autauga9439124
Blount9357149
Jackson9055136
Coffee8625157
Colbert8287164
Dale8241151
Escambia6436103
Tallapoosa6353166
Covington6291154
Chilton6215129
Russell590154
Franklin561294
Chambers5211130
Dallas4610176
Marion4579114
Clarke449471
Pike448289
Geneva4223102
Winston404685
Lawrence4040101
Bibb394776
Barbour337067
Marengo319979
Monroe310346
Butler308483
Pickens298369
Randolph291655
Henry291455
Hale285281
Cherokee278249
Fayette270671
Washington242645
Crenshaw231664
Clay220761
Macon213254
Cleburne208746
Lamar186339
Conecuh176538
Lowndes168756
Coosa162531
Wilcox153934
Bullock146842
Perry134035
Sumter122935
Greene118541
Choctaw72225
Out of AL00
Unassigned00
Tupelo
Cloudy
73° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 73°
Feels Like: 73°
Columbus
Mostly Cloudy
73° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 73°
Feels Like: 73°
Oxford
Mostly Cloudy
68° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 68°
Starkville
Mostly Cloudy
73° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 74°
Feels Like: 73°
Occasional areas of rain and some scattered thunderstorms will be in store for most of the weekend. However, good news by later sections of next week, as cooler and drier air will work its way into our weather forecast.
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather