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.

Confirmed Cases: 30674

Reported Deaths: 1107
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds248039
DeSoto157216
Madison129634
Jones112049
Neshoba98571
Rankin91612
Lauderdale90879
Harrison88610
Forrest86042
Scott77015
Jackson61616
Copiah60216
Washington5789
Leake57519
Holmes55141
Lee54718
Wayne54213
Oktibbeha54126
Warren51118
Yazoo5056
Leflore48651
Lowndes48312
Grenada4795
Lamar4567
Lincoln45434
Pike43112
Monroe39930
Lafayette3894
Sunflower3737
Attala35923
Covington3475
Panola3456
Newton3399
Bolivar33414
Adams31018
Simpson3103
Pontotoc2836
Tate27810
Chickasaw27618
Marion27511
Claiborne27010
Jasper2616
Noxubee2618
Winston2596
Pearl River25432
Clay24910
Marshall2263
Smith22011
Union2079
Clarke20624
Walthall2004
Coahoma1996
Kemper17814
Lawrence1741
Yalobusha1717
Carroll16411
Humphreys1479
Tallahatchie1364
Itawamba1358
Montgomery1312
Tippah13011
Calhoun1294
Hancock12613
Webster12510
Jefferson Davis1114
Prentiss1083
Jefferson1073
Greene1058
Tunica1003
Wilkinson949
Amite892
George863
Tishomingo781
Quitman760
Choctaw744
Alcorn682
Perry664
Stone641
Franklin452
Sharkey350
Benton340
Issaquena91
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 41362

Reported Deaths: 983
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson4944152
Montgomery4021103
Mobile4005134
Tuscaloosa222642
Marshall170210
Lee135937
Madison13597
Shelby122723
Morgan10715
Walker91424
Elmore90314
Franklin88914
Dallas8799
Baldwin8469
Etowah72713
DeKalb7075
Butler62428
Chambers62427
Tallapoosa58869
Autauga58312
Russell5450
Unassigned50323
Lauderdale4896
Limestone4810
Houston4794
Lowndes46721
Cullman4394
Pike4205
Colbert3916
Coffee3732
Bullock36810
St. Clair3662
Covington3547
Barbour3472
Escambia3376
Calhoun3325
Hale31021
Talladega3037
Marengo30211
Wilcox2908
Sumter28412
Dale2820
Clarke2736
Jackson2682
Winston2543
Chilton2392
Monroe2342
Blount2301
Pickens2276
Marion21913
Conecuh2047
Randolph2009
Choctaw19512
Bibb1871
Macon1859
Greene1838
Perry1701
Henry1323
Crenshaw1253
Lawrence1070
Washington1057
Cherokee857
Geneva790
Lamar751
Fayette681
Clay642
Coosa581
Cleburne361
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