House Democrats have signaled they are folding on their demand that a huge ‘Dream Act’ amnesty be included in the 2018 budget.
The retreat was signaled on the same days that the Democrats leaders, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, is slated to meet with the President, GOP leaders and the Senate Democratic leader at a White House meeting to talk about the budget.
The House Democrats’ gradual retreat will likely be matched by Senate Democrats, likely postponing a debate over migration and amnesty into January or February when GOP leaders push Sen. Chuck Grassley’s SECURE Act.
The Democratic surrender was exposed in the Democratic leaders’ explanation for why they want their members to vote against the GOP short-term budget extension, dubbed the “CR” for “Continuing Resolution.” The explanation, dubbed the “Daily Whip” did not cite the amnesty demand, even though it did cite defense spending and healthcare spending as reasons to vote against the extension:
Republicans are advancing a two week CR to give them time to complete their work on their tax bill – not because they are negotiating over how to provide stable funding for the Pentagon and other government agencies, or resolve the many pressing issues before Congress.
In addition to a simple date change CR, this resolution provides for a change in the way that the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) emergency shortfall funds are distributed to states until December 31, 2017, so that no state’s CHIP funding is depleted during the month of December. CHIP, which has almost always been a bipartisan priority, expired over two months ago, but Congressional Republicans continued to play games with this vital program that helps the most vulnerable children in our society … Members are urged to VOTE NO.
In a later meeting with reporters, Pelosi offered a list of reasons — including defense spending — for not supporting the CR deal. According to the TheHIll.com:
Pelosi said Democrats have no interest in a government shutdown, but they can’t support the GOP’s continuing resolution because it omits a long list of provisions the Democrats consider must-pass this year, including protections for so-called Dreamers and funding for the opioid crisis, hurricane and wildfire relief, veterans issues and pension protections …
A major sticking point in those talks has been the issue of how high to raise the caps on defense spending versus the cap governing domestic discretionary programs. Pelosi said she’s open to accepting the White House’s request for a defense increase, but Democrats will insist on “parity” for the other programs.
“We said, ‘We’re not there to fight your defense number. We think it should be subjected to scrutiny. … But if that’s what you think it should be, then that may be a place that we can go to,’ ” she said.
The walkaway comes as multiple polls show the public is strongly opposed to the Democrats’ amnesty-or-shutdown threat, and just two days after business lobbyists persuaded 34 GOP members to sign a letter seeking an amnesty by December for 690,000 DACA beneficiaries.
In Congress, Democrats are also avoiding questions from reporters on the issue;
It’s not clear how many Dems are fully committed to voting no on govt. funding without Dreamer measures. Harris didn’t give a yes/no answer to me yesterday https://t.co/AIrg2n3CWv pic.twitter.com/P1kg5fXgLD
— Elise Foley (@elisefoley) December 7, 2017