By all accounts, the president’s immigration agenda has stalled amid his party’s inability to pass a bill to overhaul the country’s immigration laws.
The House voted to end debate on a bill last week that would have ended the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, but the Senate rejected it in a filibuster that nearly killed the bill.
The Senate is set to vote on another immigration bill later this week that includes a $1.1 trillion plan to rebuild border security and expand border enforcement, a measure that is likely to pass the Senate but be blocked by the GOP-led House.
The president’s other signature legislative achievement this week, the Deficit Reduction Act of 2018, also faces a looming deadline for its passage in the Senate.
The deficit reduction bill passed the House in March and will now go to the Senate, where Democrats are pushing for a compromise that would include a reduction in the $1 trillion debt ceiling.
President Joe Biden arrives at the White House in Washington on Sept. 21.
(Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is pushing for the Deficits Reduction Act to be the centerpiece of any new bill that passes the Senate this year.
But that’s not enough to overcome the resistance from the White Houses top Republican allies.
President Donald Trump’s top legislative ally, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, told reporters Tuesday that a bipartisan deal is not possible because of the opposition to the GOP’s plan to cut $1tn from the government over 10 years.
“We’re just not going to get to that compromise,” Schumer said on CNN’s “New Day.”
“The president has no choice.
If he wants to have a deal with the Republicans, he needs to come up with a deal that will be acceptable to the Republicans and not the Democrats.”
Democrats also are pushing back on the president for what they call a failure to adequately address the growing opioid crisis that has affected thousands of people.
Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., told CNN’s Dana Bash that the president was “making it out to be a bad deal,” when it’s “not” at all.
“This is an epidemic,” he said.
“We’re going to be fighting it for a long time.”
President Joe Trump speaks during a press conference on March 22.
(Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images)On Tuesday, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Sanders, D (I-Vt.) also pointed to the president and his team as the problem, telling reporters, “It’s not just President Joe Biden, it’s also Mitch McConnell, and it’s Speaker Ryan and Nancy Pelosi, and they have to do something.”
“They have failed,” Sanders added.
“They have allowed the American people to go to sleep and wake up in the middle of the night and not get a shot at a fix.
They have let this country sink to a level where there are people dying in their beds, not getting a shot, and the country is going to continue to sink to that level.”
While Trump and his top allies have acknowledged that the bill they are pushing will not pass the House, Sanders said that the House is “ready to pass it.”
“There is no question that the President and his administration will have to come to the table with a compromise, and I think that’s the right thing to do,” Sanders said.
Democrats and other progressives have also pushed back on a proposal offered by Sen. Jeff Merkley, D, (Ore.), to delay the implementation of the new DACA program until the Senate is done voting on the Senate bill.
While the Senate passed the Defectors Protection Act last month, the measure has not yet been voted on in the House.
Merkleys plan to introduce the Dream Act, which would extend the program for up to six months, on Tuesday, according to CNN.
Senators Jeff Merks, left, and Dick Durbin, second from right, speak during a news conference on April 13.
(Alex Wong/Reuters)On the House side, Rep. John Lewis, D.-Ga., has urged his colleagues to pass immigration reform with the Democratic-controlled House.
But while Democrats are eager to work with Republicans on the bill, they are divided on whether or not to act.
“I’m not there yet,” Lewis said Tuesday on “The Lead with Jake Tapper.”
“We have to figure it out.
We have to get that bill in there.
And we’ll have to work through that.
But we have to try to get it in there.””
It is not the President’s goal to be in the White Castle,” Lewis added.