All eyes will be on President Trump this week as the Senate begins its immigration debate, with Republicans hoping the White House will play an active role in ruling out proposals he won’t accept, making it likelier he will get a bill he can sign.
Even critics admit that Trump is proving to be far more transparent with Congress than his predecessor, Barack Hussein Obama, who reveled in confusing Congress with vague rhetoric, only to veto a bill that was expected to pass.
The latest is an much maligned amnesty offer from Republicans Senators led by Sens. Charles E. Grassley of Iowa and John Cornyn of Texas, which enshrines Mr. Trump’s four-point framework with an enforcement-heavy proposal. It would couple citizenship rights for perhaps 1.8 million DACA Dreamers with some of the biggest enforcement changes in two decades.
“This is a rare opportunity to fix a real problem and protect the country in a thoughtful and compassionate way,” Mr. Grassley said. “We simply have to correct the loopholes in current law that allow dangerous criminals to enter and remain at large in our country.”
He claims the bill has the backing of President Trump — which is more than any of the other proposals being batted about in the Senate. There was no confirmation of backing from the White House.
White House officials were on Capitol Hill last week coordinating strategy, with legislative liaison Marc Short seen shuttling in and out of Senate Republican offices.
President Trump’s willingness to bluntly declare plans dead on arrival will greatly determine the direction and outcome of the debate.
After a year in office, this White House has been reticent about using the V-word, having issued more than 50 official statements of policy on bills and amendments over the past year without once explicitly threatening a veto.
Some informal threats have been made, though, including during the tax cut debate when the president suggested he would reject any plan that subjected 401(k) retirement savings to new taxes.
That threat was effective, putting to rest any thoughts of targeting 401(k) plans.
Immigration enforcement backers hope Mr. Trump will play the same role in the DACA Dreamer debate.
“It’s all up to Trump now,” said Rosemary Jenks, government relations manager at Numbers USA, which advocates for stricter immigration controls.
Mr. Trump has ruled out one plan already, calling the proposal by Sens. Lindsey Graham, South Carolina Republican, and Richard J. Durbin, Illinois Democrat, “weak.”
Mr Americana, Overpasses News Desk
February 12th, 2018