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Signing Clean DREAM Act Would be ‘Detrimental’ to GOP, White House Official Says

White House Legislative Director Marc Short speaks during a press conference

WASHINGTON – The White House is readying an effort to make the lower individual tax rates permanent before midterm elections in November, according to White House Director of Legislative Affairs Marc Short.

“It will be our push. I think it's more likely that we'll get a vote in the House but it will set up, I think, people will understand in November, this is one side that's trying to make the individual rates permanent and that relief and those who vote against it, I think, will set them up for voters to understand what their interest is, which is, I think, often taking more taxpayer money and growing the government,” Short told PJM at the Faith and Freedom Coalition’s Road to Majority conference on Friday.

During the interview, Short laid out the administration’s top priorities before the year’s end.

“There are several things that we still have to get done. One is an appropriations process. It's been 22 years since Congress completed appropriations bills by Sept. 30, and the consequence when they don't is these giant omnibus bills that you've heard the president give his displeasure with are dumped on his desk and say ‘either you sign this or you shut down the government.’”

Short said other agenda items for the administration include nominations and phase two of tax reform.

“At this point, there have been more filibusters of our nominees by Democrats than any administration in history by a wide margin. In fact, the last six presidents in their entire first two years of the presidency totaled 24 filibusters. That's 12 years of the presidency 24 filibusters. We've had 101​ filibusters of our nominees in the first 15 months. So now there's 275 nominees sitting in the United States Senate,” he said.

“We need to get those guys confirmed. And three is you'll see the White House lay out a new tax plan that focuses more on making the individual rate tax relief permanent. As you know, in the last bill the corporate relief was permanent but the individual rate phases out. We want to make sure people are protected and give that rate to them permanently,” he added.

Short said the White House’s “priorities” on immigration reform and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals remain the same but the administration is no longer supporting citizenship for 1.8 million DREAMers, which was outlined under their original plan earlier this year.

“Our priorities remain the same as they were six months ago when we had this debate, which is we want to secure the border. We've asked for $25 billion, about 18 of that's for the wall, an additional $7 billion that helps to increase personnel and judges to help move deportation cases. We want reforms as well. These silly laws that if there's somebody that's other than Mexican they're released or if people come across the border with children – a lot of that debate going on now about the separation of parents and child. Those are laws that have been on the books that basically tie the administration's hands,” he said.