Nearly all GOP Senators are rejecting a proposal backed by Sen. Chuck Schumer that would have President Donald Trump agree to reopen the shuttered federal agencies in exchange for Democrats promising to debate his border wall funding request, according to Politico.
The proposal is in a draft letter which is being pushed by GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham and Deleware Democratic Sen. Chris Coons:
We respectfully request that you join us in supporting a short-term Continuing Resolution (CR) of three weeks to give Congress time to develop and vote on a bipartisan agreement that addresses your request. We commit to working to advance legislation that can pass the Senate with substantial bipartisan support.
During those three weeks, we will make our best efforts following regular order in the appropriate committees and mark up bipartisan legislation relating to your request. This would include debating and voting on investments on the Southern border that are necessary, effective, and appropriate to accomplish that goal.
The letter was likely leaked to Politico because it is failing to win GOP support. In its report, Politico admitted in the tenth paragraph that GOP Senators are not cooperating:
There were early signs getting GOP support would be difficult. Sen. Shelly Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), who has expressed frustration with shutdown, said she doesn’t have “any objection to the letter at all. I’m just not going to sign.”
And Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), who has been meeting with the bipartisan clutch of senators, said he needed some buy-in from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) that any Senate bill would be taken up in the House.
The letter is being pushed quietly by the Democrats’ leader, Sen. Chuck Schumer, according to Politico:
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) visited the House Democratic Caucus on Wednesday to urge Democrats to lobby GOP senators from their state to sign the letter, predicting some GOP senators who have previously been outspoken about the effort will join, according to an attendee. Schumer’s lobbying could backfire: Few Republicans want to be seen as siding with the Democratic leader against the president.
The tactic of hiding Schumer’s role behind a bipartisan panel is similar to a February 2018 push by Schumer.
He used a bipartisan group fronted by Maine GOP Sen. Susan Collins, Graham, and Coons to push a so-called “moderate” immigration bill. The bill would have provided amnesty to roughly three million ‘DACA illegals, plus a practical amnesty to the population of at least 12 million illegals living in the United States. The bill was lauded as “moderate” by reporters and was backed by a handful of Republicans and by nearly all Democrats. The bill was blocked after a strenuous lobbying effort by Trump’s deputies.
Watch Sen. Collins defend her double-amnesty (DACA and a 'prioritization-amnesty') at a press conference with one reporter & a chorus of compliant progressives. Spoiler: She wants a national amnesty b/c Maine employers think wages are too damn high. https://t.co/uxVVjjWuRl
— Neil Munro (@NeilMunroDC) February 19, 2018
Politico reported that “among the senators working on the letter are Republicans Susan Collins of Maine, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Lamar Alexander of Tennessee and Rob Portman of Ohio as well as Democrats Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona and Chris Coons of Delaware.”