The Republican Congress is already broken—witness its repeated efforts at healthcare repeal—and now Donald Trump is piling on the pressure. Trump is expected to punt the fate of the Dreamers into congressional hands by saying he’ll end Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals after six months, putting pressure on Congress to act to continue the program. But see above: this is a broken Republican Congress we’re talking about. Some Republicans would like to see what concessions they can get from Democrats while avoiding responsibility for the bad look of deporting people brought here as children, but other Republicans are super excited to start deporting those young people to countries they barely know.
The leader of the latter camp is not happy with the idea of a delay:
“Ending DACA now gives [us a] chance 2 restore Rule of Law. Delaying so Leadership can push Amnesty is Republican suicide,” tweeted ultra-conservative Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) on Sunday night, after POLITICO first reported Trump’s expected decision.
So it would be over the opposition of King and his extremist anti-immigrant friends that:
In the House, senior Republicans still believe there’s a possible deal to be struck with Democrats: codifying DACA in return for Trump’s sought-after border wall.
That leaves Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) — who have both expressed sympathy for the plight of Dreamers in the past — in an awkward political position as they navigate a fall agenda that is already packed with a slate of must-pass bills, including government spending bills, a debt limit increase, and an aid package for Hurricane Harvey victims.
Meanwhile, Trump is passing the buck and piling on the pressure: