Cornyn: Potential DACA deal not ‘binding’ for other lawmakers

Greg Nash

Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) on Thursday warned that other lawmakers will want to weigh in on any immigration deal between Democratic leadership and President Trump.

“As a practical matter, 533 other members of Congress are going to want to weigh in on the topic,” Cornyn, the No. 2 Senate Republican, told reporters in light of Trump’s meeting with Democratic leaders Wednesday night.

Trump reportedly reached an agreement late Wednesday with Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to seek legislation to extend protections to so-called Dreamers in exchange for promises to enhance border security. 

Cornyn pointed out that Schumer and Pelosi only got “an agreement to agree,” but “even if they did have an agreement, that’s not binding on anybody else.”

{mosads}Details of the reported “agreement” are murky, with mixed signals coming from both Democrats and the White House.

Schumer said on Thursday that Democratic leadership and Trump have agreed to a “framework” that would link border security to a legislative fix for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

Trump, separately, said they were “very close” to an agreement. 

The contours of the deal, which Democrats have said won’t include funding for a U.S.-Mexico border wall, have infuriated conservatives. 

But Senate Republicans are largely holding their fire — for now. 

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Congress looks “forward to receiving the Trump administration’s legislative proposal as we continue our work on these issues.”

McConnell and Trump discussed DACA and border security during a phone call earlier Thursday.

Cornyn added that it was “useful” for the president to get involved on the issue, saying linking a DACA fix to border security “seems like a reasonable … scope.”

“I happen to have a border security bill that would be useful in that discussion,” he said. “The president’s certainly got people focused on it and that’s fine. There’s no reason we have to wait until December to address this.”

Meanwhile, Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), who supports Cornyn’s bill, said he was “grateful” for Trump’s “leadership,” adding that lawmakers can “reach a fair and bipartisan solution.”

And Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, tweeted early Thursday morning that he wanted a briefing on any potential agreement.

“I know [you] undercut [Judiciary Committee] effort 4 biparty agreement,” Grassley tweeted.

Grassley had previously said that his committee, and he as its chairman, would be responsible for crafting any agreement. 

Tags Chuck Grassley Chuck Schumer John Cornyn Mitch McConnell Thom Tillis

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