I’ll confess that when I wrote about the President’s expected immigration and border wall offer this morning I left open the idea that he might declare a national emergency just to throw everyone a curve ball. That didn’t happen. Instead, he went with Option B which I also mentioned. He’s putting a DACA/TPS offer on the table and seemingly daring Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats to turn it down. (NBC News)
President Donald Trump proposed a deal to end the government shutdown that continued his demand for $5.7 billion in funding for his border wall, but contained what he suggested was a concession to Democrats: three years of protections for immigrants who were brought to the country illegally as children and those who fled certain countries and are covered under the “temporary protected status” program.
“This plan solves the immediate crisis, and it is a horrible crisis,” Trump said in an address to the nation, delivered from the Diplomatic Room at the White House. “And it provides humanitarian relief, delivers real border security and immediately reopens our federal government.”
Trump said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has agreed to put his proposal into a bill and bring it up on the floor by the end of next week.
Democratic leaders in Congress declared the plan dead on arrival, issuing a spate of statements based on early news reports of what Trump intended to propose.
This looks like The Art of the Deal in action, at least at first glance. I was expecting some sort of deal for the dreamers that gave them permanent legal alien status and perhaps a shot at citizenship after a sufficient period had passed for those currently following legal means to become citizens. Ten years seems about right.
Trump offered less than that. Three years is on the table, along with some other goodies that the Democrats have been asking for. And three years takes them past the next election, so if a Democrat wins the White House they could expand on that as I suggested above. And it would reopen much of the government and put many furloughed workers back on the job. What’s not to like, right?
Supposedly, there’s plenty not to like. Pelosi didn’t even give it a moment’s notice in any serious way.
“It is unlikely that any one of these provisions alone would pass the House, and taken together, they are a non-starter,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a statement. “For one thing, this proposal does not include the permanent solution for the Dreamers and TPS recipients that our country needs and supports.”
Now the battle lines have been fully drawn. Trump came to the table and offered some options that Democrats have been pushing for, but not all that they desire. That’s the definition of negotiating. If the new Speaker had come back with a comment about it being “a good starting point” we might have gotten somewhere. But she shut it down cold.
Is that going to tip the blame game? Probably not. John Podhoretz explained why and it once again has to do with how the media will spin the story.
Speech was a fair summary of an offer. Question going forward is if Dems pay because they make no counteroffer. Without media pressure on them maybe not.
— John Podhoretz (@jpodhoretz) January 19, 2019
As I responded to John, there will be no media pressure. It will simply be “not good enough.” They’ll seek to continue placing the blame on Trump even though he offered a bounty of riches the Dems desired. Pelosi won’t cave on any money for the wall because she believes that her continued leadership in her party depends on defeating Trump rather than getting anything done.
The Shutdown Theater story is far from over I’m afraid. Unless, of course, somebody can put a bug in Pelosi’s ear and get her to come back with a reasonable counteroffer.