Florida senator and former Republican primary contender Marco Rubio said a winter-time shutdown of the federal government is “possible.”
Since the end of summer, tensions have risen between lawmakers on both sides of the political spectrum.
After President Donald Trump rescinded the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, the commander-in-chief placed the onus of saving hundreds of thousands of young illegal immigrants from deportation. Colloquially known as ‘Dreamers,’ many of them arrived to the United States so young they can’t remember their country of origin.
Seeming to strike a deal with Democratic leaders – signing off on a DACA fix in exchange for Homeland Security funding – President Trump reneged in October, demanding dollars for a proposed wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
Democrats haven’t taken kindly to the demand, likening it to blackmail – throwing dollars at a project strongly opposed by liberals in exchange for securing the future of young, innocent people.
Some liberal politicians have threatened to avoid voting on a Christmastime spending bill, which would lead to a temporary shutdown of the federal government.
Rubio says it’s possible they may get their way, but hopes setting a deadline to pass the budget could prevent that outcome.
“There’s a lot of posturing in this town. We’ve all – I mean, I haven’t been here that long, but I’ve been here long enough to see multiple times where it looks impossible until it has to happen and everybody realizes it’s the end of the year and they get it done,” he said. “That’s not a guarantee. We’re living in unusual times. But that’s my sense of it, is — I’m not sure anyone benefits from it, but it’s possible. But I hope not. No one wins in that, and it’s certainly disruptive with everything else that’s going on.”
Seemingly in stride with White House ideology, Rubio praised the possibility of erecting a new and improved border wall. The senator hypothesized that a better barrier could funnel illegal traffic toward areas more easily monitored by American Border Patrol and Immigration Customs and Enforcement agents.
Politico.com reports that one of Rubio’s alternate proposals is to approve a temporary continuation, “done in a constitutional way,” of the same Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program President Trump rescinded in September.
“I hope we will want to get something done because these are real people who are now working, some have started businesses, many are in school or about to enter school and this sort of uncertainty isn’t good for them, their families, their employer, or quite frankly, their country,” Rubio said. “A significant percentage of those young people that we would categorize as Dreamers actually fit the profile of the kind of person we want to attract under a merit-based immigration system: Highly educated, employable, ready to go to work.”