WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate’s two prime leaders placed on a present of comradery Monday as their chamber launched its immigration debate, but additionally laid down markers underscoring how exhausting it is going to be to succeed in a deal that may transfer by Congress.
“We actually do get alongside, regardless of what you learn within the press,” stated Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., at a beforehand scheduled look alongside his counterpart, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., on the University of Louisville.
There was even ribbing when Schumer introduced McConnell with a bottle of bourbon made in his house New York City borough of Brooklyn. McConnell, whose state is aware of a factor or two about bourbon, proclaimed, “There’s no such factor as Brooklyn bourbon.”
But simply days after the 2 leaders brokered a bipartisan $400 billion finances settlement and helped shepherd it into legislation, each males made clear that an immigration settlement will probably be robust.
“The time for political posturing is behind us,” McConnell stated later Monday on the Senate flooring. He stated whereas Democrats have referred to as for “swift motion” on immigration, “Now’s the time to again up the speak with the exhausting work of discovering an answer.”
That, he pointedly stated, would imply passage by the Senate and the House of a measure “which the president will signal.”
McConnell expressed his assist for a wide-ranging proposal by President Donald Trump that the Senate is anticipated to vote on this week. It would pave a path to citizenship for as much as 1.eight million younger “Dreamer” immigrants within the U.S. illegally, a lure for Democrats that many Republicans oppose.
Trump additionally desires $25 billion for Trump’s border wall with Mexico and different safety measures, in addition to curbs on authorized immigration — a should for many Republicans. Many Democrats think about among the proposals, together with limiting the family that authorized immigrants can carry to the U.S., to be non-starters.
In his personal remarks on the Senate flooring, Schumer expressed opposition to such a sweeping strategy.
“The solely enemy right here is overreach,” Schumer stated. “Now isn’t the time nor the place to reform the whole authorized immigration system. Rather, that is the time for a slender invoice” — which Democrats have stated would assist the Dreamers and supply some cash for border safety.
The feedback got here because the Senate voted 97-1 — Ted Cruz, R-Texas, supplied the only “no” vote — to plunge into an open-ended immigration debate that is been promised by McConnell. Both events’ leaders hope debate may be concluded this week, however it’s unclear if that can occur or what the product, if any, will probably be.
“This goes to be accomplished or not accomplished this week,” No. 2 Senate GOP chief John Cornyn of Texas instructed reporters.
Lawmakers’ focus would be the Dreamers, a whole bunch of hundreds of younger immigrants who’ve lived within the U.S. illegally since being introduced right here as kids.
They had been given non permanent safety from deportation by President Barack Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA. Trump has stated he’ll finish that program March 5, although a federal courtroom has quickly blocked him from scuttling it.
Trump’s general immigration plan, opposed by many Democrats, stands little likelihood of prevailing as a result of any measure will want 60 votes. That means proposals will want substantial bipartisan assist for the reason that GOP majority is 51-49, and Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., has been absent in latest weeks battling most cancers.
Highlighting the partisan hole, there was loads of finger-pointing Monday.
Trump put the onus on Democrats, saying, “I hope the Democrats usually are not going to make use of it simply as a marketing campaign” problem.
No. 2 Senate Democratic chief Dick Durbin of Illinois stated the important thing obstacle to a bipartisan deal was Trump’s historical past of switching positions on the problem.
“Nailing the president down has been subsequent to unimaginable,” he stated.
Associated Press writers Kevin Freking in Washington and Bruce Schreiner in Louisville, Kentucky, contributed to this report.