The White House finally pushed back against Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham who voted with Sen. Jeff Flake and the Democrats to shut down the government demanding amnesty for illegal immigrants.
On Sunday, Graham attacked President Donald Trump’s Stephen Miller for holding fast in the amnesty debate, refusing to deal with Democrats as long as the government remained shut down.
“As long as Stephen Miller is in charge of negotiating immigration, we’re going nowhere,” Graham complained. “He’s been an outlier for years, there’s a deal to be had.”
In response, White House Deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley fired back at Graham in a statement.
“As long as Sen Graham chooses to support legislation that sides with people in this country illegally and unlawfully instead of our own American citizens, we’re going nowhere,” he said. “He’s been an outlier for years.”
The White House has repeatedly stated that they are willing to give amnesty for illegal immigrants brought to the United States as children in exchange for border wall funding, an end to chain migration, and an end to the visa lottery system.
But amnesty advocates like Graham complain that White House aides like Miller are keeping Trump from making a deal. Miller worked with Sen. Jeff Sessions against the “Gang of Eight” group of senators that tried to pass comprehensive immigration reform in 2013.
During the on-camera White House meeting on DACA, Graham repeatedly urged Trump to become a pro-amnesty president despite criticism from conservative media.
You turn on Fox News, and I can hear the drumbeat coming. Right-wing radio and TV talk show hosts are going to beat the crap out of us because it’s going to be amnesty all over again. I don’t know if the Republican and Democratic Party can define love, but I think what we can do is do what the American people want us to do.
Graham told Trump that despite criticism from conservatives, he was repeatedly re-elected by the people of South Carolina.
“I’ve had my head beat out a bunch; I’m still standing. I’m ‘Lindsey Grahamnesty,’ ‘Lindsey Gomez’ — you name every name you want to give to me, it’s been assigned to me and I’m still standing,” he boasted.
Graham fancies himself a dealmaker in the Senate, as he has been spotted bouncing back and forth from Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer’s office and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s office.
On Sunday, Graham signaled optimism that Senate Democrats and Republicans could work out a deal. Despite voting with Democrats for a shutdown, he appeared concerned that it was not helping negotiations on immigration reform.
“I’m convinced that to continue the government shutdown — after this proposal — does more harm than good to our effort to find common ground,” he said in a statement.
I’m convinced that to continue the government shutdown — after this proposal — does more harm than good to our effort to find common ground.
— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) January 22, 2018