DACA negotiations: Key questions to avoiding a government shutdown

For all the ongoing negotiations, groups, and proposals related to the expiring Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival...

Posted: Jan 11, 2018 2:24 PM
Updated: Jan 11, 2018 2:24 PM

For all the ongoing negotiations, groups, and proposals related to the expiring Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, senior Republicans in both chambers have shifted gears fully to the idea that the government will need to be funded on January 19 without a DACA solution.

Even the most optimistic say the chance of any agreement on immigration proposals coming together that Republican leaders are willing to move forward on isn't in the cards.

Can House Republicans secure 218 votes for a short-term spending bill on their own?

Can Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell pick off a handful of Democrats?

The two key questions

Again, work on DACA is still underway on several fronts (which is part of the problem), but that calculation by GOP leadership raises two questions that must be answered affirmatively -- or a government shutdown is really on the table:

1. Can House Republicans secure 218 votes for a short-term spending bill on their own -- as they did in December -- even though the promises made to defense hawks haven't been fulfilled?

2. Can Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell pick off a handful of Democrats for a short-term spending bill in the Senate despite how furious the base is over DACA and how much the caucus wants to stay unified?

If the answer is "no" to one or both of the above, there's a shutdown problem.

But will a shutdown happen?

Nobody in either party's leadership wants it. That's about as far as you can go in stating what's going to happen at this point.

What Senate Republicans think: There's no way Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer can keep the entire caucus together -- especially those in tough 2018 races in Trump-friendly states -- to oppose a short-term spending bill on DACA grounds. And if it looks like he can, keep in mind that things like the re-authorization of the Children's Health Insurance Program, and a more than-$80 billion disaster relief package, can also be brought up by McConnell to make that vote especially painful.

What Senate Democrats think: To be perfectly clear, the caucus isn't unified on this, but for the large majority of the caucus, this isn't a bluff. This issue is real, the moment is now, the mechanism is the spending bill and the reasons -- the approximately 700,000 DACA recipients, thousands of whom had already lost their protection due to the administration's decision -- are at the core of what they believe and campaign on.

Just saying: Yes, Republicans have serious problems finding a way forward on this in their conferences (especially in the House.) But it's not like Democrats are in lock step on supporting whatever bipartisan agreement is released. Many, especially in the House, are extremely uncomfortable with the direction the talks have headed.

Can a DACA agreement still come together?

Yes. Absolutely. The issue is timing. And policy.

Two things to note here: First, there is genuine desire to deal with this issue -- it's very personal for a lot of members and senators -- and GOP leaders know they need to get it off their plate as soon as possible or face a 2018 poisoned by the issue.

But the best chance for a bipartisan deal to date -- the Senate working group that has been at it for months -- has headed in a direction a majority of the Republicans in the conference are unwilling to go, many senators and aides tell me.

And yet: That bipartisan working group -- Sens. Dick Durbin, Jeff Flake, Lindsey Graham, Michael Bennet, Cory Gardner and Bob Menendez -- has continued to hammer away at this and should have some kind of product in the coming days, sources say. We'll see if that changes the direction of things, which at this point, is in an absurdly muddled place.

The key player: It's the President. Period. He can and likely will make or break whatever proposals (that are deemed serious) come out. And the work behind the scenes between competing interests and close allies (think Sen. Tom Cotton on one side and Graham on the other) is a fascinating dynamic to keep an eye on at this point.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 95659

Reported Deaths: 2056
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hennepin26960930
Ramsey10911320
Dakota7524126
Anoka6092133
Stearns401024
Washington379955
Scott257433
Olmsted244628
Nobles197116
Blue Earth16996
Wright16327
St. Louis160241
Carver14197
Clay138940
Rice13358
Mower13285
Sherburne115014
Kandiyohi10112
Winona88718
Lyon6954
Waseca6698
Benton5523
Steele5472
Freeborn5424
Nicollet54016
Watonwan5284
Crow Wing51618
Todd4952
Chisago4941
McLeod4882
Le Sueur4674
Otter Tail4414
Beltrami4215
Martin40810
Goodhue3659
Itasca32814
Pine3280
Douglas3102
Polk3054
Isanti2971
Becker2802
Carlton2701
Morrison2492
Dodge2390
Cottonwood2250
Pipestone22510
Chippewa2141
Meeker2022
Wabasha1960
Sibley1923
Brown1912
Yellow Medicine1822
Cass1804
Rock1730
Unassigned17052
Redwood1673
Mille Lacs1643
Murray1642
Renville1518
Jackson1481
Faribault1450
Swift1381
Houston1280
Kanabec1258
Roseau1230
Koochiching1223
Fillmore1200
Pennington1191
Lincoln1110
Hubbard1031
Stevens1031
Pope940
Big Stone820
Aitkin801
Wadena690
Wilkin653
Grant614
Lake590
Lac qui Parle581
Norman540
Marshall521
Mahnomen481
Red Lake451
Traverse310
Clearwater270
Lake of the Woods221
Kittson120
Cook60

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 85533

Reported Deaths: 1305
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk15872262
Woodbury544764
Johnson512627
Black Hawk448990
Linn4010111
Story344417
Dubuque325741
Scott301128
Dallas278538
Pottawattamie211338
Buena Vista199112
Marshall178434
Sioux16183
Wapello133357
Webster125514
Plymouth114121
Clinton112121
Muscatine110855
Crawford10885
Cerro Gordo105721
Warren9566
Jasper83832
Des Moines7848
Marion7637
Henry7434
Tama71331
Carroll6625
Lee6377
Wright5811
Dickinson5276
Boone5078
Bremer4927
Washington45911
Louisa42915
Mahaska41219
Delaware4023
Floyd3493
Jackson3493
Franklin34818
Winneshiek3356
Clay3264
Lyon3264
Hamilton3223
Benton3101
Winnebago30313
Hardin2991
Poweshiek2958
Buchanan2791
Jones2743
Butler2702
Kossuth2700
Shelby2671
Clarke2653
Emmet26510
Allamakee2616
Clayton2523
Chickasaw2500
Sac2500
Cherokee2492
Cedar2461
Guthrie2456
Fayette2222
Harrison2223
Grundy2203
Madison2192
Iowa2091
Palo Alto2020
Humboldt1903
Mitchell1900
Howard1886
Hancock1842
Calhoun1833
Mills1801
Page1700
Cass1682
Osceola1610
Monroe15911
Pocahontas1592
Lucas1566
Monona1531
Jefferson1381
Appanoose1363
Union1353
Taylor1301
Davis1244
Ida1221
Fremont1180
Van Buren1141
Keokuk1091
Worth1080
Greene1010
Montgomery965
Wayne862
Audubon821
Adair721
Decatur670
Ringgold502
Adams330
Unassigned170
Rochester
Clear
54° wxIcon
Hi: 67° Lo: 45°
Feels Like: 54°
Mason City
Broken Clouds
58° wxIcon
Hi: 69° Lo: 47°
Feels Like: 58°
Albert Lea
Clear
55° wxIcon
Hi: 68° Lo: 46°
Feels Like: 55°
Austin
Clear
57° wxIcon
Hi: 68° Lo: 47°
Feels Like: 57°
Charles City
Scattered Clouds
59° wxIcon
Hi: 67° Lo: 47°
Feels Like: 59°
One Last Mild Day
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Community Events