Democratic Leader Downplays Amnesty Fight in March 23 Budget Deal

border wall
Mark Wilson/Getty Images

The second-ranking Democratic leader in the House is resisting pressure from amnesty advocates to threaten another 2018 budget shutdown.

The leadership resistance will likely keep the illegals’ push for a DACA amnesty demand disconnected from the budget. That disconnect will likely boost President Donald Trump’s chance of getting $1.6 million for border-wall construction in the 2018 omnibus bill, due by March 23.

TheHill.com reported:

“I think the omnibus needs to be considered on its own merits, and then we ought to move ahead on DACA,” [leader Rep. Steny] Hoyer told reporters during his weekly press briefing in the Capitol, referring to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

That strategy would mark a shift from last month, when Hoyer, Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and other Democratic leaders had rejected a bipartisan budget agreement because it was not accompanied by a specific commitment from Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) to consider legislation salvaging DACA, which President Trump is trying to wind down. The strategy also runs the risk of angering the immigrant rights activists pressing Democrats to use every tool they’ve got to solidify DACA protections …

Congress has until March 23 to pass the omnibus spending bill or large parts of the federal government will shut down. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) told the GOP conference Tuesday that he’s eyeing a House vote on the package next week — a timeline Hoyer endorsed.

Senate Democrats lost political support during their mid-January filibuster of the federal budget.

The House’s 2018 appropriations bill includes $1.6 billion for the budget wall. A Senate committee has approved a similar amount, but Senate Democrats have not yet approved the funding.

Senate Democrats may try to block the wall funding but would risk another damaging budget shutdown eight months before the 2018 midterms.

The $1.6 billion for 2018 is a different post of money from the $25 billion border-wall fund that Trump has asked Congress to approve. The $1.6 billion should be enough to construct and improve 74 miles of wall, while the $25 billion would fund roughly 700 miles.

.