Washington Democrats apparently haven’t learned their lesson from the last government shutdown a few weeks ago. While the House will vote on Tuesday on another spending bill to prevent the government from running out of cash, Democrats continue to insist on connecting DACA legislation to funding the government.
While it’s true that Democratic votes are necessary to help pass the funding bill, it’s an illusion that DACA legislation gives them any leverage with the public. As they discovered the last time they tried this tactic, it only works if the GOP thinks the Democrats have leverage with DACA. Donald Trump proved that their political fantasy was a mirage.
Talks to fund the government are proceeding, but some kind of agreement between the two parties on immigration is far away. Republicans can’t even agree what to do on immigration among themselves.
Reuters reports, “Republicans, who control Congress, are undecided on what to do about DACA and the Dreamers. They ended a three-day retreat at a mountain resort in West Virginia on Friday not much nearer to consensus than they were a week ago.”
With that much uncertainty on the GOP side, there is no way a deal on immigration will get done by Thursday, the deadline for Congress to enact a funding bill.
Democrats may insist on including DACA in a spending bill, but Trump and the GOP are also insisting on billions more in border security spending, including money for a wall. This places the Democrats in an impossible position. In order to get DACA passed, they are going to have to break another promise they made about not approving any money for a wall. Faced with that reality in January, Democrats punted. Don’t be surprised if they do so again.
The Dems are also being pushed against the wall on visa reform and an end to chain migration — both issues Trump wants resolved along with funding for a wall and DACA.
Some lawmakers want Trump’s four-part immigration framework pared back, while others want it approved or made even more strict on future immigration.
“If we can solve DACA and border security that may be the best I can hope for,” Senator John Thune, a member of the Republican leadership, told reporters at the retreat.
Senator James Lankford was among Republicans who said this week that Trump could give Congress more time to reach a deal by extending the Dreamers’ deadline beyond March 5.
Trump reiterated on Thursday at the retreat that all four components of his framework must be included in a deal, a stance viewed as unworkable by many lawmakers in both parties.
Some Republicans say the March 5 deadline lost its power last month when a federal court blocked the rescinding of DACA. That meant the law would remain in effect until the Supreme Court resolves the case, which is unlikely by March 5.
In a research note, financial firm Height Analytics set the odds of another shutdown next week at 65 percent.
And this is what makes the Democrats’ position so weak. There is absolutely no need to shut down the government over DACA when there’s at least a month left to negotiate the issue. It only makes sense to the Democrats’ rabid base, who threatened to primary some Democrats over their cave-in to the GOP.
The Democrats are on a road to self destruction. They have everything going for them leading up to the midterms and they may blow it because of their own stupidity.