DACA negotiations: Key questions to avoiding a government shutdown

For all the ongoing negotiations, groups, and proposals related to the expiring Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival...

Posted: Jan 11, 2018 2:24 PM
Updated: Jan 11, 2018 2:24 PM

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.

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.

Can House Republicans secure 218 votes for a short-term spending bill on their own?

Can Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell pick off a handful of Democrats?

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?

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.

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.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 307332

Reported Deaths: 7095
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto20757248
Hinds19869408
Harrison17475302
Rankin13307275
Jackson13095243
Madison9886210
Lee9854169
Jones8289160
Forrest7522146
Lauderdale7185237
Lowndes6261144
Lamar610284
Lafayette6026117
Washington5279132
Bolivar4769129
Oktibbeha455297
Panola4440103
Pearl River4418139
Warren4277118
Marshall4267100
Pontotoc416472
Monroe4056132
Union403575
Neshoba3984176
Lincoln3869107
Hancock371985
Leflore3468124
Sunflower329389
Tate322681
Pike3177104
Scott310472
Yazoo304268
Alcorn297664
Itawamba296776
Copiah292965
Coahoma289677
Simpson287484
Tippah284668
Prentiss275659
Marion265679
Wayne261341
Leake260973
Grenada254882
Covington254380
Adams245882
Newton244859
George237647
Winston225981
Tishomingo222067
Jasper219748
Attala213273
Chickasaw204857
Holmes186471
Clay182354
Stone179131
Clarke176676
Tallahatchie175240
Calhoun163130
Yalobusha158636
Smith158534
Walthall130543
Greene129433
Lawrence126223
Noxubee125833
Montgomery125542
Perry125138
Carroll120826
Amite119941
Webster113432
Jefferson Davis105332
Tunica102525
Claiborne101330
Benton97225
Kemper95126
Humphreys94332
Franklin81723
Quitman78916
Choctaw72817
Jefferson64828
Wilkinson64727
Sharkey49617
Issaquena1686
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 518588

Reported Deaths: 10712
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson753351487
Mobile37698798
Madison33829494
Tuscaloosa25245443
Montgomery23942565
Shelby23094238
Baldwin20617300
Lee15510165
Calhoun14277311
Morgan14137268
Etowah13660345
Marshall11952219
Houston10379278
Elmore9988200
Limestone9806147
Cullman9467188
St. Clair9422234
Lauderdale9208227
DeKalb8745181
Talladega8042171
Walker7087275
Jackson6753110
Autauga6715103
Blount6480135
Colbert6200130
Coffee5397112
Dale4766110
Russell428238
Franklin419882
Chilton4080109
Covington4053114
Tallapoosa3892146
Escambia387574
Dallas3526149
Chambers3499122
Clarke346360
Marion3065100
Pike305475
Lawrence295295
Winston272272
Bibb256258
Marengo248561
Geneva245875
Pickens232959
Barbour224755
Hale218675
Butler212266
Fayette208960
Henry187844
Cherokee182044
Randolph176741
Monroe171240
Washington163838
Macon154348
Clay149354
Crenshaw149257
Cleburne146041
Lamar139234
Lowndes136453
Wilcox124327
Bullock121340
Conecuh109028
Perry107926
Sumter102932
Coosa99228
Greene90734
Choctaw58624
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