Pelosi rejects McConnell’s DACA offer

Greg Nash

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Monday rejected an offer from Senate GOP leaders to end the standoff over the fate of certain immigrants called “Dreamers” and clear the way to reopening the shuttered government.

“I don’t see that there’s any reason — I’m speaking personally and hearing from my members — to support what was put forth,” Pelosi said during a press briefing in the Capitol.

A senior Democratic aide said both Pelosi and her top deputy, Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), will oppose the measure. Hoyer said later, however, that leadership will not whip members on the measure.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) laid out a strategy Sunday night on the second day of the shutdown in which he’d “take up” legislation addressing the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program after Feb. 8 — if Democrats agreed to reopen the government.

Many Democrats have balked at that plan, since it includes no guarantee that the bill would ever receive a vote in the House, where Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) has said he won’t bring any legislation to the floor that lacks the support of President Trump. Trump last year announced he was rescinding the Obama-era program, which protects certain immigrants brought to the U.S. as children from deportation, but gave Congress until March 5 to come up with a legislative fix for the program.

Pelosi, on Sunday, said she’d need Ryan’s assurances before supporting any promise from McConnell — a message she amplified Monday.

“We have a plan. … Let’s put on the table what it is that we need to address — and not only put it on the table, but promise to put it on the floor for a vote,” she told reporters on Monday.

“That’s not what is in the Senate bill. I don’t know what will come of it. But when it comes over here I know that there are a large number of our members who will not support it,” she said.

Pelosi’s comments came minutes before a bipartisan group of senators said they’ve reached an agreement to reopen the government quickly in return for a later vote on DACA. 

It’s unlikely that Pelosi’s rejection of the Senate strategy will impede the effort to reopen the government. House Republicans, who had approved a 30-day continuing resolution last week, appear near-united in their support for the Senate’s similar three-week plan.

–This report was updated at 1:02 p.m.

Tags Donald Trump Mitch McConnell Nancy Pelosi Paul Ryan Steny Hoyer

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