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Will 2020 contenders put Democrats in a bind on DACA?

As battles over immigration and government spending advance with no solution in sight, Senate Democrats are being for...

Posted: Jan 17, 2018 9:18 AM
Updated: Jan 17, 2018 9:18 AM

As battles over immigration and government spending advance with no solution in sight, Senate Democrats are being forced to decide whether they'd support a short-term measure to avert a government shutdown -- even if it doesn't include protections for the hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants brought into the United States as children.

A contingency of 2020 prospects -- including California Sen. Kamala Harris, New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker and New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand -- want to play hardball, refusing to vote for anything that doesn't secure the fate of those who gained legal status under former President Barack Obama's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

Their position matches a Democratic base that overwhelmingly supports protections for DACA participants and is eager to see lawmakers use every available tactic to pressure Trump.

"Why are we kicking the can down the road?" Booker said Tuesday.

But the 10 Democratic senators up for re-election this year in states Trump won in 2016 -- all of whom need to win over conservative voters -- may be less willing to force a government shutdown over immigration policy.

"I'll vote to keep the government open," West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin said.

"We've got people running for president all trying to find their base, and then you've got people from Trump states that are trying to continue to legislate the way we always have -- by negotiation," Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill, whose state Trump carried by 19 percentage points, told The New York Times. "And never the twain shall meet."

The clock is ticking, with government funding set to expire Friday.

Even Democrats who won't be in tough races in 2018 or 2020 are slowly feeling out the political dilemma they could face in the coming days -- with some refusing to take clear positions on whether they'd back a government funding bill that didn't include DACA.

Some said they are still holding out hope that a deal negotiated by a bipartisan group of senators, including Illinois Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin and South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, could move forward -- despite Trump's rejection of that deal at a heated meeting last week.

"I would hope we'd have all the things everybody agreed to," Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy said Tuesday when he was asked that question.

Pressed to clarify, he repeated: "I would hope we'd have something everybody has agreed to."

"I would hope the President and Republican leaders wouldn't want to humiliate themselves by not going forward with what we agreed to," Leahy said, turning around and acknowledging how vague he'd been as he walked into an elevator. "How's that for a clear answer?"

Democratic strategists involved in 2018 races acknowledged the complicated politics of immigration but noted that protections for Dreamers are politically popular across the board and said Republicans -- who control all levers of government power -- would be blamed for a shutdown.

But the positions of Harris, Booker and Gillibrand, all seen as viable prospects for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, have reflected the passion of the broader Democratic base -- which is young, diverse and overwhelmingly supportive of hard-line tactics against Trump and congressional Republicans.

Those Democrats have dug in since Trump said at a private Oval Office meeting that he wants immigrants from places like overwhelmingly white Norway -- and not from Africa.

Booker on Tuesday ripped into Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen during a heated committee hearing, after Nielsen denied hearing Trump say the words "shithole" or "shithouse" in a White House meeting last week.

Booker said Nielsen was "complicit" in the damage done by Trump's reported insult.

"When ignorance and bigotry is allied with power, it is a dangerous force in our country. Your silence and your amnesia is complicit in it," Booker said.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 119336

Reported Deaths: 3328
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds8109180
DeSoto734280
Harrison553785
Jackson488488
Rankin412386
Madison388094
Lee368682
Forrest313478
Jones298484
Washington2644100
Lauderdale2611135
Lafayette256043
Lamar234040
Oktibbeha206055
Bolivar205279
Neshoba1883111
Lowndes182862
Leflore173088
Panola172241
Sunflower165949
Warren156656
Monroe154873
Pontotoc151520
Marshall150530
Lincoln144859
Pike140956
Copiah139936
Scott128129
Coahoma126537
Union126025
Yazoo124534
Simpson124049
Grenada123139
Tate123039
Pearl River117960
Itawamba117827
Leake117042
Holmes115160
Adams110245
Prentiss109520
Alcorn105012
Wayne103422
George103020
Covington99729
Marion96944
Tippah95124
Hancock88128
Newton88128
Chickasaw87028
Winston85921
Tallahatchie85826
Tishomingo83141
Attala80927
Clarke78353
Clay71522
Jasper69817
Walthall64827
Calhoun63613
Smith60816
Noxubee60317
Yalobusha56616
Montgomery56523
Lawrence55314
Claiborne54216
Tunica53917
Perry52823
Carroll50912
Stone49814
Greene48218
Humphreys45817
Amite43413
Jefferson Davis42412
Quitman4246
Webster38213
Benton36911
Wilkinson34321
Kemper33415
Sharkey29115
Jefferson28110
Franklin2533
Choctaw2096
Issaquena1074
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 162720

Reported Deaths: 2735
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson23940385
Mobile17123319
Tuscaloosa10602141
Montgomery10503199
Madison955798
Shelby760565
Baldwin676869
Lee664965
Calhoun476562
Marshall447451
Etowah441952
Morgan430835
Houston423934
DeKalb355429
Elmore327858
St. Clair311342
Limestone297031
Walker287493
Talladega276437
Cullman266525
Lauderdale240543
Jackson225317
Autauga212631
Colbert210232
Franklin209432
Blount200925
Russell19833
Chilton192332
Dallas189227
Dale184952
Coffee183611
Covington177329
Escambia175831
Clarke138717
Chambers138047
Tallapoosa137287
Pike136414
Marion110931
Barbour10559
Marengo104622
Butler101941
Winston94713
Geneva9427
Pickens89018
Lawrence88533
Bibb86115
Randolph84616
Hale78130
Cherokee76414
Clay76312
Washington75812
Henry7316
Lowndes72128
Monroe66310
Bullock65117
Crenshaw61230
Fayette59913
Perry5996
Cleburne5799
Conecuh57213
Wilcox57112
Macon54320
Lamar5235
Sumter48621
Choctaw39512
Greene34516
Coosa2173
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