Funding Bill’s Chances Not Looking Good

By on January 18, 2018

The Friday deadline to pass legislation to keep the government running looms large as Republicans find themselves suddenly coming apart at the seams.

Already facing a 60 vote threshold to pass in the Senate – meaning all GOP hands would have to be on deck and get Democratic help – Sen. Linsdey Graham (R-SC) said on Wednesday that he will not vote for a funding bill that doesn’t include protections for Dreamers.

“I’m not going to vote for a CR,” Graham told reporters Wednesday. “I want to be fair to the DACA population. I want to begin to fix a broken immigration system. But above all else I want to rebuild the military that’s in a great decline. … And there is no way in the world to fix this problem without dealing with the DACA issue.”

Democrats are beginning to rally around DACA as an issue that they won’t budge on, using it as leverage to avoid a shutdown. The GOP was going to be hard pressed to find 9 of them to cross the aisle without any DACA concessions, but now they are losing one of their own as well.

Graham was part of a bipartisan group of legislators that has put together an agreement that would help Dreamers stay in the United States. White House Chief of Staff John Kelly was critical of the deal, however, but Graham spoke against the criticism and said the bill has the ability to pass.

Pushing back, Graham argued that it would pass in the House if the President would support it. “I will tell General Kelly: I’ve been doing this for a very long time,” he said. “I haven’t been fiddling.”

Republicans are now trying to hold the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) hostage to try to guilt Democrats into caving, but if they go down that road they’ll not only be seen as the party that killed DACA, but also as the one that tried to use children as a political bargaining point rather that simply funding CHIP because it’s the right thing to do.