Well that didn’t take long …
The Septuagenarian Ninja Turtle, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, has one again demonstrated that he is a manipulative liar whose word is worthless and who should not be trusted to honor any promise or agreement he makes. Only one day into the open-ended debate on immigration and DACA that the Turtle Man promised, he has reneged on the deal he made with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.
I have said before that history will not be kind to Mitch McConnell, he will be remembered as one of the worst senators in the history of the U.S. Senate in the pantheon of worst senators.
Joan McCarter at Daily Kos reports:
The Senate debate on immigration has begun and it’s not good. Despite the promise from Majority Leader Mitch McConnell that they would have as much as two weeks of free-wheeling, open amendment debate, he’s already stated his desired outcome: Trump’s complete white supremacist wish list in return for the Dreamers’ path to citizenship. He’s also creating a false threshold for legislation—something that will get 30 Republican votes.
And as for the two weeks of consideration? He sent out his number two guy, the odious Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), to renege on that, giving the Senate essentially two days.
“This is Sen. (Dick) Durbin and Democrats’ opportunity and so far they kind of seem to be a little confused about what they’re planning on doing — but they better get it done quick because it’s this week or not at all,” said Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn.”We need to get it wrapped up by Thursday,” Cornyn said.
A Republican aide said that this is intended “to light a fire under Democrats and get them to release their amendments. GOP leaders are worried Democrats want to drag out the debate for ‘weeks and weeks.'” They were promised “weeks.” Not that you can believe a thing out of McConnell’s mouth, particularly the promises, but here’s something Republicans seem to have forgotten. A real, substantive legislative process that doesn’t have a preordained outcome takes weeks and weeks. They haven’t done real legislating for so long they seem to have forgotten that.
To be honest, the Democrats here aren’t doing a whole lot better.
Democrats, meanwhile, are still weighing how hard to push for a vote on some of their preferred ways to help the estimated 700,000 undocumented immigrants known as Dreamers, aware that any idea with a chance of success will have to offer concessions on border security and other volatile issues.”There’s a lot at stake here,” Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) told reporters, adding, “I just don’t know at this moment that we’ll have 60 votes. I don’t know if we can get 11 of the Republicans to join the Democrats on anything.”
Precisely because there is a lot at stake, Democrats have to push a clean Dream Act, that has to be their starting point. McConnell’s laid out his—the full Trump monty. They have to lay out theirs. Some of them get it: “Up or down vote on DREAM. That’s the whole point,” said Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY).
Democrats have already given away almost all of the leverage they have here. They have to force a clean DREAM Act vote, and they can’t cut any deals that hurt immigrant families.
I have to agree with Joan McCarter on this. Since the Turtle Man has reneged on his DACA deal with Chuck Schumer and turned the DACA debate into a farce, Democrats should coalesce around their strongest bill, a clean DREAM Act, and get an up or down vote on that bill to get senators on the record.
There is not going to be any DACA fix because Donald Trump and the “mass deportation party” GOP does not want any fix, this is who they are, despite any denials to the contrary. Tbe Turtle Man acted in bad-faith and is never to be trusted again.
UPDATE: The Hill reports, McConnell keeps firm grip on immigration debate:
McConnell is siding with Republicans who argue that anything falling short of Trump’s plan has a slim chance of becoming law.
By doing that, McConnell is opting not to box in Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.). Democrats and some Republicans maintain a clean “Dreamer” bill would pass the House if Ryan allowed for such a vote. While the Senate won’t approve that bill, the chamber could feasibly pass a bipartisan compromise. (Ryan has been warned not to act on any bill conservatives consider “amnesty.”)
McConnell backs a proposal sponsored by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) and several other Republicans that would codify Trump’s call to limit the weight of family relationships in granting green cards and overhaul the diversity visa lottery program.
Roll Call reports, House GOP to Whip Goodlatte Immigration Bill Wednesday:
The conservative bill by House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte [and Martha McSaly] is universally opposed by Democrats. So it would need the support of 216 Republicans for leadership to decide to bring it to the floor.
[T]he GOP whip team will conduct a formal whip check on the only House measure that has Trump’s backing. If the whip count is favorable, GOP leaders will bring it to the floor, a House leadership aide confirmed.
The bill, if passed (with only Republican votes), would provide the House with a vehicle to form a conference committee with the Senate.
Axios.com reports a Scoop: Trump threatens veto on immigration deal:
A senior administration official said Tuesday night that President Trump “will veto any bill that doesn’t advance his common-sense immigration reforms” — a hardening of the White House bargaining position as the Senate begins an epic debate.
In discussing the White House’s strategic thinking, the administration official asserted confidence on immigration, saying Democrats who resist Trump’s approach will “be walking into a political suicide march.”
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The Senate Democratic official blasted back: “Republicans are in charge of Congress, the President ended DACA, and if deportations come, it’ll be Donald Trump’s ICE agents doing the deportations.”
- “Republicans will own any failure to get a result here. Period.”
- The Democratic official added: “They will have to defend it while trying to win Senate seats in Nevada and Arizona, and swing House seats across the country.”
- “Democrats have offered Donald Trump the wall and reasonable bipartisan proposals on what they call chain migration and diversity visas.”
- “We have claimed the middle ground, and the President has rejected it … He’s using Dreamers as leverage to achieve immigration policies that are broadly unpopular.”
The GOP goal here is to pass only the most extreme white nationalist agenda bills supported by the white nationalist in the White House. There is no ground here for good faith compromise, because this is GOP authoritarianism writ large.
The DREAMers are going to have to rely on the federal courts for protection for now.
UPDATE: A second federal judge has issued an injunction barring the Trump administration from ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program while litigation plays out in courts. Second judge blocks Trump administration from ending DACA:
U.S. District Judge Nicholas Garaufis, an appointee of former President Bill Clinton, wrote in a court order Tuesday in New York City that the administration could not rescind the Obama-era program “pending a decision on the merits of these cases.”
“Defendants thus must continue processing both initial DACA applications and DACA renewal requests under the same terms and conditions that applied before September 5, 2017, subject to the limitations described below,” he wrote.
The New York ruling is similar to one issued last month by San Francisco-based U.S. District Judge William Alsup, who ordered the administration to continue processing DACA applications.
Shortly after that order, the Trump administration formally asked the Supreme Court to review the lower court’s decision. The justices have yet to decide whether to hear the case.
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New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman (D) celebrated Tuesday’s injunction as a victory for the more than 42,000 DACA recipients living in the state.
“Federal courts from coast to coast have now reviewed the record and reached the same conclusion: President Trump’s decision to rescind DACA was illegal,” Schneiderman said in a statement.
“Today’s ruling reflects not only the illegality of the Trump Administration’s move to rescind DACA, but also the clear and demonstrable benefits DACA provides to New Yorkers across our great state.”