Pelosi: ‘We will not leave’ without DACA fix

Pelosi: ‘We will not leave’ without DACA fix
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Thursday that Democrats will insist on protecting “Dreamers” from deportation before year’s end.
 
Pelosi’s position highlights the ever-increasing odds of a showdown over immigration next month when Congress must extend funding for the government.
 
President Trump has promised Senate Republicans that he won’t support an omnibus spending bill that includes protections for those enrolled in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which he rescinded in September. And Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanWhite House faces growing outcry over migrant family policies John Legend slams Paul Ryan for Father's Day tweet, demands end to family separation Trump faces Father’s Day pleas to end separations of migrant families MORE (R-Wis.) on Thursday suggested that Republicans want to kick the issue into next year. 
 
But Democrats have insisted on such a fix next month, at the latest, and they’re increasingly threatening to withhold their support for a spending bill unless it includes a DACA fix — or Republicans find another legislative vehicle to move it this year.
 
The Democrats will have leverage in the spending fight, both because of the Senate filibuster and because House Republicans have typically struggled to win enough GOP support to pass budget bills on their own. Those dynamics lend the Democrats power to make certain demands, and DACA is quickly moving near the top of the list.
 
“I’ll have to see what the spending bill is,” Pelosi said Thursday during a press briefing. “But I fully intend that we will — we will not leave here without the DREAM Act passing with a DACA fix.
 
“I’ve made that very clear.”
 
Republicans, however, have a different timeline in mind.
 
Ryan noted Thursday that Trump, in ending DACA, gave Congress six months to pass legislation protecting participants from deportation. The Speaker said Republicans would prefer to address the issue as a stand-alone bill — “on its own merits” —  rather than as part of a large spending package. And he suggested GOP leaders aren’t rushing, given the March 5 deadline.  
 
“I don't think there's really any need to have artificial deadlines within the one we already have,” Ryan said. 
 
“Having said that, though, our members are having lots of conversations,” he added. “We have a working group on this issue. And that working group is now going to spread out and start talking to our broader conference.”
 
Rep. Michael McCaulMichael Thomas McCaulThe Hill's 12:30 Report Trump immigration comments spark chaos in GOP Hillicon Valley: 'Stingray' spying fears spark calls for action | AI debate flares at Google | Experts warn Russian malware more widespread | Lawmakers want Facebook to be more transparent MORE (R-Texas), chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, said Thursday that the negotiators are nearing a deal on a DACA package, which they’ll then shop around to the conference. 
 
“I think we’re getting close to a product and at that point we’ll go into listening sessions,” McCaul told The Hill.  
 
Yet those talks have excluded Democrats, and the package the Republicans are said to be eying will likely be a nonstarter with many liberals, raising questions about how GOP leaders plan to get a DACA fix to Trump’s desk without Democratic buy-in.
 
Pelosi said Thursday that, while it was a mistake for Trump to rescind DACA, she trusts the president when he says he wants to protect those currently in the program. 
 
“I think President Trump does respect the fact that the Dreamers have the support of over 80 percent of the American people, and that's why he would be interested in getting something done,” she said. 
 
“We're not kicking the can down to March.”