White House defends ad calling Dems 'complicit' in killings

Lester Mason
January 23, 2018

Democrats want President Trump to negotiate over immigration as part of a budget deal, but Republicans say no agreement is possible while federal government services are closed.

The Republicans now have 51 senators, so they need some Democratic support to pass a budget. "A government shutdown is not a good way to get an outcome legislatively". Among voters who disapprove of Trump and say Democrats are presenting alternatives to his proposals, 9 in 10 favor Democrats over Republicans in congressional races. Democrats, of course, dismiss this. There are significantly different dynamics inside the caucus, between the red-state Democrats up for re-election in 2018 to moderates to the more liberal to the potential 2020 candidates and everything in between.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said he and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had "come to an arrangement", with Schumer saying he believed there was a "real pathway" to get a bill dealing with immigration on the floor of the Senate.

A group of senators worked through the weekend to try to come up with an agreement to extend the budget and end the shutdown.

Senate Democrats, who had sought firmer guarantees from McConnell on immigration, were initially reluctant to accept his terms.

Why Democrats declined: The lack of concrete commitments in McConnell's statement, according to multiple aides. Susan Collins of ME, who characterized the talks as "progress by inches".

This goes beyond a willingness to take McConnell's word - far beyond.

This is the first time a government shutdown has happened while one party, the Republicans, controls both Congress and the White House.

For years, Democrats have watched immigration efforts wither on the vine when it comes to House Republicans, who have a significantly more active and relevant hard-line immigration strain in their conference.

This weekend's women's marches - one year after larger demonstrations following Trump's inauguration - showcased the sustained enthusiasm Democrats will depend on in midterm elections where fewer than half of citizens vote. After Senate Democrats blocked a temporary government-wide funding bill Friday night, both parties engaged in furious finger-pointing.

In plucking Schadlow to succeed Powell, McMaster is making a switch that brings a longtime colleague with a rare academic background into President Donald Trump's West Wing. "We expect that a bipartisan bill on DACA will receive fair consideration and an up or down vote on the floor".

Graham and Flake have now flipped to "yes" from their previous "no" positions. Many were optimistic when McConnell announced he would allow a vote on immigration reform in February if the Democrats agreed to fund to the government. But despite the show of activity at the White House, almost all of the work on finding some kind of budget agreement was taking place at the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue.

"I think if we've learned anything during this process, it's that a strategy to shut down the government over the issue of illegal immigration is something the American people didn't understand, and would not have understood in the future", he said. "He brings a lot of uncertainty to the equation, which isn't exactly helpful in moments like this". The contours of that proposal were still taking shape Sunday evening.

There were indications Sunday that Democratic resolve was beginning to waver, with growing worries that a prolonged shutdown could prove to be an electoral headache for the party just as they have grown confident about their prospects in November.

But, and this remains a crucial point, it's the leaders who decide what will move forward, not the group of 19 moderate senators.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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