Past Features

November 28, 2017

Border security first --- old battle resumes?

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Washington Post -- November 28, 2017  
Trump faces make-or-break meeting with congressional leaders
    President Trump's rocky relationship with Capitol Hill faces a crucial test Tuesday in a meeting with top Republican and Democratic congressional leaders that could edge the government closer to a year-end bipartisan fiscal deal --- or a federal shutdown.
    Leaders in both parties spent Monday preparing to make their case to an unpredictable president who abruptly sided with Democrats the last time he sat down with top leaders.
    Ahead of the meeting with House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.), Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.), there were unresolved questions about how much more money the federal government may spend in the coming years — plus pressing concerns regarding immigration and health care. [...]
    Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.), an outspoken conservative lawmaker, said Monday that he supported Ryan's calls not to include a DACA solution in the spending plan.
    “Congress should pass single-subject legislation, which maximizes the transparency of our votes to constituents. It would be a grave mistake to add DACA reform to the spending bill,” Biggs said in a statement, adding that a separate immigration measure should include money to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Townhall -- November 18, 2017 
Analysis: This Provision from the Doomed 'Gang of Eight' Bill Might Hold the Key to Trump's DACA Deal   
....The failed 'Gang of Eight' package was much more far-reaching in its 'amnesty' implications than anything that's being discussed related to the DREAM Act today; nevertheless, that stymied bill remains potentially useful because it provides a roadmap to enforcement-focused mechanisms to which Democrats have already agreed in principle, in the not-so-distant past. When conservatives balked at insufficient border security measures within the 2013 framework, two Republican Senators introduced an amendment dubbed the "border surge," which was adopted and included in the final legislation that was approved by the upper chamber. [...]
    Note well that the Hoeven/Corker "border surge" included 700 miles of fencing. That may not quite be synonymous with Trump's "wall," but it's still a tangible, physical barrier that each side could frame as a win. Trump could argue that getting the Democrats to go along with hundreds of miles of new fencing (progress on which his administration would scrupulously monitor and faithfully execute) constitutes a major victory for physical border security. He might even call it "the wall" as shorthand. Democrats would insist to their own supporters that simply green-lighting fencing that had previously been agreed upon as part of a bipartisan, pre-Trump consensus was not a cave to pro-"wall" demands.