Former president Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, is causing a standoff in the US Congress, and might lead to a government shutdown in 2 days if both Republicans and Democrats do not come back to a negotiation table.
The Republicans who had supported the bill arenow tossing it.
Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell on Wednesday, said that the congress would only be a spinning wheel if it voted for DACA and President Trump is not willing, and won't sign it. McConnell said; "I’m looking for something that President Trump supports and he’s not yet indicated what measure he’s willing to sign. As soon as we figure out what he is for then I would be convinced that we were not just spinning our wheels going to this issue on the floor."
President Trump in his meeting with a few members of Congress indicated that if the Democrats wants DACA deal, they must be ready to include the US-Mexico border wall to the spending bill, a move that Democrats reject, even though President Trump in his election promises had told the voters that Mexico will pay for the wall along the border.
Another twist on the wall happened on Wednesday when the White House Chief of Staff, John Kelly told the Congressional Hispanic Caucus that the promise of Trump building a wall on the Southern border shows he is uninformed, and said that the White House is no longer pursuing the US-Mexico wall policy.
Kelly also said that some areas in the border does not need a wall, and Trump probably did not know that.
A government shutdown looms in the US Congress, and might happen as early as Friday. If this happens, according to Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, it is the Republican responsibility because they control the House, and also the White House.
Democrats have vowed that it will not support a spending deal, without the DACA protection.
The DACA deal would have given 690,000 DREAMers- undocumented people who had entered the US illegally as kids a path to citizenship. Last September, Trump said he will look to cancel the program, after it expires in March 5.
Republicans are working to keep the government afloat to Mid-February with short-term funding, but it will also need the support of nine Democrats to pass the bill. To be able to cajole the Democrats in supporting the short-term funding, and prevent a total government shutdown, Republicans are offering a six year extension to the Children’s Health Insurance Program -CHIP, a program that subsidized health insurance for kids of low income family, which is supposed to lapse in September, also Congress has now approved some funding that will keep the program going till end of the year.
Democrats will now have to choose to keep CHIP for now, or refused to end and cause a full government shut down. Minority Leader Chuck Schumer is saying that there is no going to be a deal if DACA are CHIP are not included.