President Donald Trump may offer his support for certain Democratic policy goals in exchange for border wall funds during remarks from the White House Saturday, CNN and Axios reported Friday and Saturday, respectively.
Congressional Democrats have insisted that Trump reopen the government before any such negotiations, but according to the reports, Trump may offer the policy concessions in a statement from the White House Saturday afternoon, one that he hyped in a tweet Friday. The remarks, initially scheduled for 3 p.m. ET, have since been pushed back to 4 p.m.
Some Democrats responded to the reports by saying they wanted Trump to reopen government before any negotiations.
Dear @realDonaldTrump: Thank you for your concessions. Democrats look forward to working with you on a comprehensive immigration bill that includes DACA. But we can't do that in a shutdown. We will never allow a shutdown as a negotiating tactic. Need to reopen government first. https://t.co/eAV6byDXxB
— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) January 19, 2019
Reminder that Durbin wrote the Bridge Act, which was also meant to be a bridge to a broader legislative deal on Dreamers pic.twitter.com/NNcNvCWFBM
— Seung Min Kim (@seungminkim) January 19, 2019
Trump’s Jan. 8 address from the Oval Office, which aired live in prime time on all major networks, contained little new information or potential paths out of the government shutdown he initiated with a last-minute call for billions in border wall funds.
Aspects of the reports clash somewhat: CNN reported, citing an unnamed senior administration official, that the plan to offer Democrats certain concessions in exchange for border wall money “is not based on negotiations with Democrats,” in the network’s words.
Axios, citing unnamed White House officials, reported that the planned concessions were the result of discussions between White House adviser Jared Kushner, Vice President Mike Pence and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) but added, in the website’s words: “McConnell did not try to write the bill for them; this bill is the culmination of Kushner and Pence’s conversations with some Democrats and an inventory of proposals they discussed.”
CNN did not report on any specifics of what Trump might offer. Axios reported that Trump would offer temporary deportation relief for undocumented people otherwise eligible for the DACA program and the extension of legal status for those with Temporary Protected Status. The Trump administration has sought to end DACA and TPS, in the latter case for a large portion of the individuals protected by the designation.
In exchange, per Axios, Trump will again demand $5.7 billion in funds to construct a border wall.
This post has been updated.
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