GOP senators float DACA fix to rescue stalled House border-wall bill

Some Senate Republicans are proposing a reauthorization of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in a last-ditch attempt to rescue funding for President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump watching 'very closely' as Portland braces for dueling protests WaPo calls Trump admin 'another threat' to endangered species Are Democrats turning Trump-like? MORE’s border wall. 

As a motion to proceed to the House-passed measure providing $5.7 billion for the border wall and security stalled on the Senate floor, some Republicans proposed at a private lunch meeting to add protections for certain immigrants in order to pick up Democratic support. 


“I don’t see any reason to proceed to a bill that can’t pass,” said Sen. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeArpaio considering running for former sheriff job after Trump pardon Overnight Energy: Warren edges past Sanders in poll of climate-focused voters | Carbon tax shows new signs of life | Greens fuming at Trump plans for development at Bears Ears monument Carbon tax shows new signs of life in Congress MORE (Ariz.), a Republican who voted against a motion to proceed to the House bill, which keeps 25 percent of the government funded until Feb. 8. 

Flake said he wants to “find a bill that can pass.”

“I think one that could — if we’re going to reopen this thing to add more money for a wall or steel slats, or whatever you want to call it, then throw DACA in, too,” Flake said, adding that several colleagues support his position. 

Senate Republicans convened a meeting in the Mansfield Room while the motion to proceed to the House bill sat stalled on the Senate floor. 

As of 2 p.m., it had 43 votes in favor and 45 votes against. It would need a simple majority to pass. 

Without Flake's support, it's uncertain whether GOP leaders can pass anything with border wall funding. 

Republicans have a 51-49 majority but several senators were absent Friday as they expected the House to pass a clean stopgap spending measure Thursday. 

Flake said the biggest obstacle to negotiating a last-minute deal to avoid a shutdown is uncertainty over Trump’s position.

“The biggest problem is we just don’t know what the president will sign,” Flake said.

“We heard last week what he would sign. That’s no longer what he would sign,” he added, making reference to signals from the White House that Trump would sign a clean stop-gap measure keeping government funded over Christmas.