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McCarthy: ‘No deadline on DACA’

McCarthy: ‘No deadline on DACA’
© Greg Nash
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyTrump talk riles advocates on both sides of gas tax House GOP pushes hard-line immigration plan as Senate deals fail Speculation swirls about Kevin McCarthy’s future MORE (R-Calif.) said Tuesday that a recent court decision in favor of “Dreamers” has greatly reduced the pressure on GOP leaders to pass legislation related to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
 
“There is no deadline on DACA,” McCarthy said as he left a meeting of the House Republican Conference in the Capitol basement on Tuesday night.
 
 
McCarthy, the second-ranking House Republican, accused those lawmakers of jeopardizing the military personnel reliant on an extension of Pentagon funding, which expires with the rest of the budget on Saturday.
 
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He pointed to a recent court decision by a federal judge in California, who blocked the administration’s move to end DACA, as the reason Congress is facing less urgency to act.
 
“You had the court case going forward, so why would they harm the military over something that’s not shut down?” McCarthy said. 
 
Trump announced the end of DACA last September, saying former President Obama lacked the legal authority to create the program without congressional approval.
 
But the president has indicated his support for the concept of DACA and challenged Congress to enact a legislative fix for those affected by his decision to wind down the program, setting a March 5 deadline.
 
Immigrant rights advocates in both parties have urged GOP leaders to consider a DACA fix quickly, emphasizing that thousands of people have fallen out of the temporary program since September, losing certain legal protections in the process.
 
But last week's recent federal court decision has changed the political dynamics, lending Republicans a new reason not to address DACA as part of this month’s spending debate.
 
The temporary stay has forced the administration to accept DACA renewal applications. The Justice Department announced Tuesday that it would appeal the decision and put the issue before the Supreme Court.
 
“Not only was the original deadline for the DACA program March 5, but the administration has now … started renewing these permits again,” Sen. Tom CottonThomas (Tom) Bryant CottonGOP looks for Plan B after failure of immigration measures Senate rejects Trump immigration plan Our intelligence chiefs just want to tell the truth about national security MORE (R-Ark.), an immigration hard-liner, told conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt on Tuesday
 
“So there’s no urgency right now to try to ram through a major change in immigration law by Friday.”
 
McCarthy is among the lawmakers involved in bipartisan talks seeking a DACA deal — a group that includes the deputy leaders of each chamber, Sens. Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinAmerica’s waning commitment to the promise of the First Amendment Senate rejects Trump immigration plan What to watch for in the Senate immigration votes MORE (D-Ill.) and John CornynJohn CornynLawmakers feel pressure on guns Kasich’s campaign website tones down gun language after Florida shooting Murphy: Trump’s support for background check bill shows gun politics ‘shifting rapidly’ MORE (R-Texas), and Rep. Steny HoyerSteny Hamilton HoyerCongress punts fight over Dreamers to March Calls mount from Dems to give platform to Trump accusers  Citing deficits, House GOP to take aim at entitlements MORE (D-Md.). McCarthy said the group will meet again Wednesday
 
“I’d like to get the border secure and get all that done as soon as possible,” McCarthy said. “I don’t put a deadline on it, [but] I’d like to get it done. 
 
“The more it lingers, the more problems we create.” 
 
Curbelo said he has faith in McCarthy’s efforts to secure a DACA deal. But in the meantime, he’s voicing frustrations that the leaders of his own party don’t share his urgency in passing a bill.
 
He’s withholding his support for this week’s spending package to highlight his discontent.
 
“Unless we have any measurable progress towards an immigration deal, I’m out. Too much is at stake — 800,000 lives … and I’m not going to stand idle,” Curbelo said. 
 
“There is a great lack of political courage here and only when there’s no other option does Congress act. So I’m essentially trying to fast-forward that process.
 
“These are people who could lose everything from one day to the next.”