Democrats add $1 billion, reopen the federal government after almost a month.
Top Democrats said they’ll reject an offer expected from President Donald Trump to extend protections for so-called Dreamers for three years in exchange for $5.7 billion in funds for border security as a way to reopen the federal government after almost a month.
As well as giving protections for Dreamers, young people brought to the U.S. illegally as children, via the bipartisan Bridge Act, Trump is expected to propose extending the visas for Temporary Protection Status holders, though it’s unclear for how long, said a person familiar with Trump’s plan.
The concessions, to be outlined in a speech at 4 p.m. on Saturday, are aimed at getting Democrats back to the negotiating table in a bid to end a partial government shutdown now into its fifth week.
The proposals are similar to ones backed in the past by Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer and Dick Durbin, the number two Senate Democrat, although party leaders say they want nothing short of citizenship for Dreamers and oppose a physical wall along the U.S.-Mexico border as an anti-immigrant symbol.
“Initial reports make clear that his proposal is a compilation of several previously rejected initiatives, each of which is unacceptable and in total, do not represent a good faith effort to restore certainty to people’s lives,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a statement. “It is unlikely that any one of these provisions alone would pass the House, and taken together, they are a non-starter.”
Durbin said he can’t support the proposed offer as reported and also doesn’t believe it can pass the Senate. “I am ready to sit down at any time after the government is opened and work to resolve all outstanding issues,” the Illinois lawmaker added.
A senior Democratic aide said party officials weren’t consulted on Trump’s plan and have rejected similar overtures in the past. The aide called it a non-serious offer.
A similar deal was rebuffed by Democrats in March during an earlier government funding debate, according to a Republican and Democratic aide at the time. Republican leaders and the White House offered two-and-a-half years of protections, without a path to citizenship, for DACA beneficiaries in exchange for border wall funding. Democrats rejected it then, and asked for a path to citizenship, fearing that it would give Trump his wall money while making DACA recipients eligible for deportation after a few years. The White House said no to a path to citizenship, and negotiations collapsed.
The White House has said repeatedly that the time to address the Dreamers would be after the Supreme Court Rules on whether Trump’s attempt to deport them can go forward, and has requested the issue be considered urgently. But the top U.S. court indicated on Friday that it wouldn’t hear a case on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, known as DACA, any time soon.
Read more: Supreme Court Hints It Won’t Hear DACA Appeal This Term
Trump and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi entered a long holiday weekend with no sign their acrimonious standoff was any closer to an end. But as the pain of the shutdown grows daily, the pressure is on to find a solution.
Explaining the Longest-Ever U.S. Government Shutdown: QuickTake
Speaking to reporters on Saturday, Trump doubled down on his demand for a wall and Trump took a swipe at Pelosi as he prepared to board Marine One at the White House.
“She’s being controlled by the radical left,” Trump said, adding that he hopes she’ll come around to see “everybody knows, that walls work.”
The president also cited a new assemblage of migrants heading for the U.S. border as justification for a wall, and said he’s disappointed that “Mexico is not stopping them.” The comment echoed one made earlier on Twitter.