Senate GOP whip: No vote on stand-alone bill for 'Dreamers'

Senate GOP whip: No vote on stand-alone bill for 'Dreamers'
© Greg Nash

Senate Republican Whip John CornynJohn CornynKey GOP senators appear cool to Kavanaugh accuser's demand Trump, GOP regain edge in Kavanaugh battle GOP mulls having outside counsel question Kavanaugh, Ford MORE (Texas) on Thursday quickly threw cold water on efforts by Democrats to persuade President Trump to support a stand-alone bill to protect an estimated 800,000 undocumented immigrants from deportation.

Shortly after Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerTrump, GOP regain edge in Kavanaugh battle READ: President Trump’s exclusive interview with Hill.TV The Hill's 12:30 Report — Trump slams Sessions in exclusive Hill.TV interview | Kavanaugh accuser wants FBI investigation MORE (D-N.Y.) spoke with Trump Thursday morning about moving the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act, which would lift the threat of deportation from people who came to the country illegally as children, commonly known as "Dreamers," Cornyn said the legislation would not come to the floor in its current form.

“The minority leader doesn’t set the Senate schedule and the DREAM Act — we’re not going to vote on the DREAM Act as a stand-alone,” Cornyn told reporters. 

ADVERTISEMENT

He said that it’s unreasonable to expect GOP leaders to move a bill that conservative critics such as Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) call “amnesty” after Democrats were unable to pass such a bill when they controlled the White House and Congress. 

“Can you imagine that when President Obama couldn’t pass the DREAM Act through Congress and did this through executive action, that now a Republican majority would take it up and pass that same legislation without border security and enforcement provisions?” Cornyn said.

“I just think it would be a mistake,” he added.

Schumer earlier in the day called on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellGOP, Kavanaugh accuser struggle to reach deal GOP making counteroffer to Kavanaugh accuser The Hill's 12:30 Report — Trump questions Kavanaugh accuser's account | Accuser may testify Thursday | Midterm blame game begins MORE (R-Ky.) to bring the DREAM Act, which has four Republican sponsors, to the Senate floor.

Democrats on Wednesday threatened to attempt to attach the legislation to must-pass bills scheduled for the fall agenda if GOP leaders refuse to cooperate.

“Since President Trump’s decision to end DACA on Tuesday, it’s absolutely necessary that Congress move forward to pass a clean Dream Act,” Schumer said, referring to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which Obama set up through executive action to protect people who came to the country illegally as children.

Schumer said Trump called him Thursday morning to inform Democrats that he wants to help them pass the DREAM Act. 

“He called. He said he wanted to help in the Dream Act, and there are many ways to help,” Schumer told colleagues on the floor.

Schumer urged Trump to help round up more Republican co-sponsors for the bill and pressure McConnell and Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanHow does the 25th Amendment work? Sinema, Fitzpatrick call for long-term extension of Violence Against Women Act GOP super PAC drops .5 million on Nevada ad campaign MORE (R-Wis.) to bring the Dream Act up for a vote.