Flake: Stop waiting for Trump and pass an immigration bill.
Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) has an idea to keep the government open and strike a deal on immigration: Stop focusing on President Donald Trump’s constantly fluctuating opinion.
Republican leaders promised Flake a vote on a bipartisan immigration deal by the end of January. He wants them to deliver on that promise.
Last week, Flake, along with Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Dick Durbin (D-IL), proposed a bipartisan immigration agreement that would have offered permanent protections for those in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA), as well as fund border security and address the visa lottery program and “chain migration.”
But Trump and the White House, who have increasingly engaged with immigration hardliners on DACA, nixed the proposal, with the president’s now-infamous comments calling African countries “shitholes” (or “shithouses”) in a White House meeting. Since then, GOP leadership said they wouldn’t vote on a bill that the president didn’t support.
The new condition, however, has a Trump-shaped obstacle: No one, including Republican leaders, appears to know what Trump wants on immigration.
“I maintain the only way to find what the president supports is to put something on the floor and vote on it,” Flake told reporters on Thursday. “Because last week the president said he would support anything we passed, [and] then he wouldn’t. I don’t know where he is today, so why in the world should the Senate be bound to what the president may or may not want?”
Here are Flake’s comments in full:
I had a commitment to have a DACA vote on the floor — bipartisan DACA vote on the floor — by the end of January. Then all of a sudden the condition was put on of if the president supports it. We don’t know what the president supports. Read More Here