GOP open to 3-year DACA fix in spending bill

GOP open to 3-year DACA fix in spending bill
© Greg Nash
Congressional Republicans are open to including a three-year immigration fix in the upcoming omnibus spending package but are awaiting clear direction from the White House.
On Wednesday, the White House floated a “three-for-three” approach to Congress, which would extend Deferred Action on Childhood Arrival (DACA) protections for three years in exchange for three years of border wall funding.
The White House later ruled out that specific approach, but left the door open to some compromise on border wall funding and DACA, which shields immigrants who were brought to the country illegally as minors.
“If there were a deal cut and that could be added to the omnibus, we would welcome that. But right now, what was reported as a three-for-three deal is not something the White House would support,” deputy press secretary Raj Shah told reporters.
Among congressional Republicans, the idea of a three-year DACA fix in exchange for wall funding was amenable.
“I don’t have a problem with it, as long as it’s something the president wants, as opposed to us trying to force him into doing something,” said Rep. Tom ColeThomas (Tom) Jeffrey ColeDemocrats don't expect to do 2020 budget The Hill's Morning Report — Impeachment face-off; Dems go after Buttigieg in debate Trump shocks, earns GOP rebukes with Dingell remarks MORE (R-Okla.), a House Appropriations subcommittee chairman.
“I’d rather do something else on DACA, I’d rather get a real bill,” he said.
Republicans also expressed frustration with the lack of a clear message from the White House.
“We were watching to see where that would go. There were members here that would be open to that as well, but they’ve already pulled it down,” said a senior Republican source of the White House trial balloon. 
Rep. Mario Diaz-BalartMario Rafael Diaz-BalartOn The Money: Lawmakers strike spending deal | US, China reach limited trade deal ahead of tariff deadline | Lighthizer fails to quell GOP angst over new NAFTA House passes bill that would give legal status to thousands of undocumented farmworkers House passes stopgap as spending talks stall MORE (R-Fla.) said that without a hard deadline, a long-term solution was unlikely. A February Supreme Court ruling effectively eliminated the March 5 deadline that President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump denies telling Bolton Ukraine aid was tied to investigations Former senior Senate GOP aide says Republicans should call witnesses Title, release date revealed for Bolton memoir MORE set when he announced he would scrap the program in September. Further court action could allow the program to lapse.
“That pressure is gone, and this process works on pressure and deadlines,” Diaz-Balart said. “I’m relieved for the [DACA] folks, but we need to find a long-term solution and right now I would tell you that momentum is kind of gone,” he added.
“Once again we’re back on that treadmill of avoiding doing those things to fix the solution permanently,” he said. “I want a sort of holistic solution on immigration policy that both fixates on economic growth but also makes it so we never have this situation in the future.”
Schweikert, a fiscal hawk, is unlikely to vote for the omnibus anyway in objection to increased spending levels. Republicans will need Democratic support to pass the spending bill.
On Thursday, House Minority Leader Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiFormer senior Senate GOP aide says Republicans should call witnesses Democrats step up pressure over witnesses after Bolton bombshell Texas AFL-CIO endorses Cuellar's primary challenger MORE (D-Calif.) rejected the idea that Democrats would accept new border wall funding as part of the omnibus without major concessions from the Republicans providing benefits to those living in the country illegally.
“Should we give a border wall for nothing? No, I don’t think so,” Pelosi said during a press briefing in the Capitol. 
Pelosi noted that Senate Democrats, in 2013, had supported new wall funding, but only as a part of a sweeping immigration reform package that blocked the deportation of most of the nation’s roughly 11 million undocumented immigrants. Quite aside from her objection to an “obnoxious” wall bisecting border communities — “In a civilized society we’d do something like that,” Pelosi said — the liberal leader said there’s simply no incentive for the Democrats to support new wall funding without a similar deal this year.
“When there was comprehensive immigration reform, which was bipartisan in the Senate and protected 11 million people, there were serious concessions made in the balance,” she said. “For nothing would we give the wall? No. What would be our motivation?”
Trump had requested $1.6 billion in wall funding for 2018 and has sought a $25 billion payment into a trust in 2019 to fund it into the future.