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Here are some other headlines from around Washington:
“Wouldn’t it be great if we could finally, after so many years, solve the DACA puzzle,” he wrote, adding: “This will be our last chance, there will never be another opportunity! March 5th.”
The comments came the day after the Senate voted 97-1 — Ted Cruz, R-Texas, provided the sole “no” vote — to plunge into an open-ended immigration debate that’s been promised by McConnell. Both parties’ leaders hope debate can be concluded this week, but it’s unclear if that will happen or what the product, if any, will be.
“This is going to be done or not done this week,” No. 2 Senate GOP leader John Cornyn of Texas told reporters.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., threw his weight behind a wide-ranging bill that mirrors Trump’s approach. It would pave a path to citizenship for up to 1.8 million young “Dreamer” immigrants in the U.S. illegally, a lure for Democrats that many Republicans oppose. Trump also wants $25 billion for Trump’s border wall with Mexico and other security measures, as well as curbs on legal immigration — a must for many Republicans.
“This proposal has my support, and during this week of fair debate, I believe it deserves the support of every senator who’s ready to move beyond making points and actually making a law,” McConnell said in beginning Senate debate Tuesday.
McConnell and other GOP supporters describe the measure as the Senate’s best shot of passing a bill that the president will sign. McConnell’s endorsement is key for generating Republican support, but many Democrats consider some of the proposals, including limiting the relatives that legal immigrants can bring to the U.S., to be non-starters.
“We really do get along, despite what you read in the press,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said Monday at a previously scheduled appearance alongside McConnell at the University of Louisville.
“The only enemy here is overreach,” Schumer said. “Now is not the time nor the place to reform the entire legal immigration system. Rather, this is the time for a narrow bill” — which Democrats have said would help the Dreamers and provide some money for border security.
Trump’s overall immigration plan, opposed by many Democrats, stands little chance of prevailing because any measure will need 60 votes. That means proposals will need substantial bipartisan support since the GOP majority is 51-49, and Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., has been absent in recent weeks battling cancer.
Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Arizona, also proposed a modification of the bill late Monday that he painted as a potential compromise.
Highlighting the partisan gap, there was plenty of finger-pointing on Monday.
Meanwhile, Trump made clear he continues to take his March 5 deadline seriously, even though because of a judge’s ruling, federal immigration officials have been renewing permits under President Barack Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program for immigrants’ whose status expires beyond that date.
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