Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union,” when asked if Democrats will shut the government down over the DREAM Act, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) said he was “not prepared to go home for the holidays” until they got their “work done.”
Partial transcript as follows:
BASH: Gentlemen, I want to turn to something that is looming. Unless Congress acts, the federal government is going to run out of money in less than two weeks. Sen Durbin members of your party are threatening to not vote for the bill unless they protect Dreamers, those are children who were brought to the U.S. illegally by their parents. Is this contingent on finding a legislative solution for Dreamers?
DURBIN: There are a number of things we have to do by the end of the year. We heard on an earlier program right here on your network that we face the end of the children’s health insurance program, the community health care clinic program, that’s also expired. But we believe, Senator Graham and I do, that we have a fixable priority in the DREAM Act. a bipartisan solution to this problem to make sure that these young people have a chance to earn their way into citizenship. We can do this and we can get it done before the end of the year.
BASH: .Will that be a demand? Will you demand that that gets done in order to get your vote on funding the government?
DURBIN: Let me tell you, I’m not prepared to go home for the holidays until we get our work done.
BASH: Is that a yes?
DURBIN: I’ll just leave it at that.
BASH: I just want to make sure our viewers know what we’re talking about. It sounds like you’re willing to risk veterans benefits, pay for workers around the holiday in order to get a DACA fix.
DURBIN: Here’s the read that you should have. We’ve done precious little this year in the United States Senate. You know that, Dana. You follow this day to day. Now we have three or four weeks to get real work done. We believe the DREAM Act. We can put together a bipartisan coalition to pass it and make that part of the end of the year effort.
Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN