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White House chief of staff: Durbin-Graham bill wasn't inclusive enough

White House chief of staff John Kelly on Wednesday defended the President's rejection last week of a bipartisan Senat...

Posted: Jan 17, 2018 8:13 PM
Updated: Jan 17, 2018 8:13 PM

White House chief of staff John Kelly on Wednesday defended the President's rejection last week of a bipartisan Senate immigration bill, saying it wasn't as inclusive as the President asked for.

Speaking to reporters in the Capitol in between four back-to-back meetings on the issue with lawmakers, Kelly declined to answer whether he and staff had misguided the President, as Sens. Dick Durbin, an Illinois Democrat, and Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican, alleged after their proposal was rejected.

The White House chief of staff criticized a bipartisan immigration bill proposed last week

John Kelly's criticism was that the the House and some key senators were not consulted

"That deal that came over was supposed to be two things: bipartisan and both sides of the Hill," Kelly said. "And it was bipartisan in the sense that there were several Democratic and Republican senators, but there were a number of other senators that had been involved in this from the beginning, (Sens. Tom) Cotton and (David) Perdue is an example, (Thom) Tillis from North Carolina, that were not consulted. And the House was not consulted at all."

Durbin and Graham crafted the bill with two other Republicans, Sens. Jeff Flake and Cory Gardner, and Democrats Sens. Michael Bennet and Robert Menendez. Tillis and Republican Sen. James Lankford had been meeting with the group but were not included in meetings after the new year over perceptions about lacking a sense of urgency. Cotton and Perdue are supporters of a hardline proposal to slash legal immigration supported by President Donald Trump.

Kelly said that in the meeting, where the President made the now-infamous "shithole countries" comment, Trump's sense was the Durbin-Graham bill "fell short."

"His sense was, two things. It fell short of certainly what he was looking for based on the Thursday conversation and other conversations," Kelly said. "But more to the point, it did not include all of the senators that have been involved in all of the discussions about DACA and certainly did not involve the House. And the President has said from the beginning, it's got to be bipartisan and unless it involves the House as well as the Senate, it's going to go down again as a bill that does not pass into law."

Kelly did not address the vulgar comments controversy, but one of the lawmakers Kelly met with, Florida Republican Rep. Carlos Curbelo, said in their moderate Republican meeting it came up "briefly" and it was acknowledged that "foul language" was used by multiple people at that meeting.

Kelly said Trump still wants a fix for the expiring Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy, saying the termination of it "intentionally" left six months before its end, "so that there could be plenty of time for the United States Congress to actually talk to each other, both sides of the aisle, both sides of the Hill, talk to the White House, which they've done, and then actually come up with a bill that will pass both houses."

Kelly indicated that the President would want to protect current DACA recipients, and Curbelo said he was "very confident" that the President would accept including a path to citizenship after his meeting.

"The President that I work for wants 700,000 or so DACA recipients, the vast majority of whom are now adults, to have a way to stay in the United States legally," Kelly said. "He wants that. That's a given. But what we cannot have is a unprotected, unsecured southwest border that five, six, seven years from now, we have another group of 600 or 700,000 DACA people."

Kelly met on Wednesday with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, followed by five moderate Republicans, followed by two leaders of the conservative House Freedom Caucus and then went to meet with the bipartisan congressional No. 2's who are attempting to negotiate a deal.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 497790

Reported Deaths: 9917
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison34102530
DeSoto31839398
Hinds31837622
Jackson24314377
Rankin21881388
Lee15427234
Madison14525279
Jones13772241
Forrest13412250
Lauderdale11937314
Lowndes10934185
Lamar10470135
Pearl River9431237
Lafayette8454138
Hancock7697126
Washington7365156
Oktibbeha7111129
Monroe6727174
Warren6642176
Pontotoc6609101
Neshoba6606205
Panola6460131
Marshall6386132
Bolivar6266145
Union596094
Pike5784152
Alcorn5633101
Lincoln5417134
George491879
Scott470998
Tippah465381
Prentiss464181
Leflore4627143
Itawamba4596104
Adams4570119
Tate4546109
Copiah445191
Simpson4421116
Wayne438572
Yazoo438586
Covington427394
Marion4216107
Sunflower4215104
Coahoma4115104
Leake407787
Newton380879
Grenada3692108
Stone358464
Tishomingo356391
Attala330289
Jasper328265
Winston313191
Clay306375
Chickasaw296767
Clarke290694
Calhoun277945
Holmes266987
Smith262550
Yalobusha232647
Tallahatchie225251
Walthall217763
Greene215548
Lawrence211140
Perry204755
Amite203954
Webster201645
Noxubee185340
Montgomery179056
Jefferson Davis170642
Carroll167438
Tunica158639
Benton147438
Kemper141241
Choctaw133026
Claiborne131237
Humphreys129038
Franklin119128
Quitman106227
Wilkinson104539
Jefferson94234
Sharkey64020
Issaquena1937
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 813481

Reported Deaths: 15179
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1139971910
Mobile722271323
Madison51970686
Shelby37279341
Baldwin37069540
Tuscaloosa34934599
Montgomery33953725
Lee23142240
Calhoun22142470
Morgan20639372
Etowah19758496
Marshall18245300
Houston17302405
St. Clair15912337
Cullman15306290
Limestone15202198
Elmore15075284
Lauderdale14143294
Talladega13715272
DeKalb12569259
Walker11085366
Blount10094174
Autauga9893146
Jackson9789180
Coffee9182189
Dale8859181
Colbert8789200
Tallapoosa7044195
Escambia6732127
Covington6682179
Chilton6587160
Russell625958
Franklin5930105
Chambers5559142
Marion4955126
Dallas4882199
Clarke472782
Pike4719105
Geneva4564126
Winston4473101
Lawrence4264117
Bibb421686
Barbour355475
Marengo334089
Monroe330262
Randolph327063
Butler324794
Pickens313882
Henry310965
Hale309187
Cherokee299957
Fayette290679
Washington250951
Cleburne246958
Crenshaw243575
Clay240367
Macon230562
Lamar215846
Conecuh185652
Coosa178538
Lowndes173761
Wilcox167438
Bullock151744
Perry138040
Sumter131038
Greene125544
Choctaw86927
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A cold front passing through our area overnight will bring into our area some of the coolest temperatures of the season so far. We will see most of the highs this weekend only in the upper 60s to lower 70s. While overnight lows will drop off down into the 40s Saturday night.
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