Bipartisan talks on spending and immigration are slated to take place this coming Wednesday at the White House.
The expected list of attendees includes a handful of stand-ins for President Trump, who was initially expected to spearhead negotiations. Standing in his place will be spokesman and legislative affairs chief Marc Short and budget director Mick Mulvaney.
Top-ranking politicians from both parties and chambers of Congress will try advancing their agendas, which center around avoiding a possible government shutdown early in 2018. Among the main issues to be tackled is a spending bill, which some Democrats say they’ll boycott without a fix for the rescinded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
DACA, an Obama-era invention, was intended to protect illegal immigrants who’d come to the United States as children from deportation. Although President Trump had publicly expressed his sympathy for program recipients, known colloquially as ‘Dreamers,’ he canceled the initiative in early September.
After instructing Congress to champion their cause, Trump made a deal with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer to secure Dreamers’ future. The agreement would have traded some form of amnesty for a moderate increase in border security funding.
The Democrats have been told, and fully understand, that there can be no DACA without the desperately needed WALL at the Southern Border and an END to the horrible Chain Migration & ridiculous Lottery System of Immigration etc. We must protect our Country at all cost!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 29, 2017
But a month after the matter was settled, the commander-in-chief reneged, demanding thousands of new jobs for the Border Patrol and tens of millions of dollars for a wall along the Rio Grande.
Since Congress began its Christmas Recess, Trump has struck down along the same track – agreeing to support measures for Dreamers, but only if Democrats will help raise the wall.
“The Democrats have been told, and fully understand, that there can be no DACA without the desperately needed WALL at the Southern Border and an END to the horrible Chain Migration & ridiculous Lottery System of Immigration etc,” tweeted Trump Friday morning. “We must protect our Country at all costs!’
President Trump’s rhetoric was quickly dismissed by top Democrats, who insisted on reaching a reasonable agreement in person.
“We’re not going to negotiate through the press and look forward to a serious negotiation at Wednesday’s meeting when we come back,” relayed Pelosi’s spokesman, Drew Hammill.
According to Politico.com, Trump’s apparent disinterest in the meeting isn’t likely to lend Democrats enthusiasm. In November, Pelosi and Schumer “bailed” on another meeting after Trump tweeted that an immigration deal was unlikely.
Even though some Republicans have indicated Trump is willing to reach a compromise on immigration and border security, the commander-in-chief stood by his comments in a Thursday interview with The New York Times, saying he wouldn’t support any plan “without a wall.”
And Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC), chairman of the conservative Freedom Caucus, thinks the time for concessions may be over, too. Unless liberals are willing to cede to the president’s demands – a wall and ends to the visa lottery system and chain migration – politicians may reach and impasse.
“The president will veto something that doesn’t have those items in there,” Meadows told Breitbart Radio. “I firmly believe that.”
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