In a short address from the Senate floor just after 9 p.m. on Sunday, McConnell said “it would be my intention to proceed on legislation that would address DACA [Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals], border security, and related issues” if those bipartisan priorities are not resolved before funding expires on Feb. 8—assuming the government’s lights are turned on before then.
The promise—one aimed at winning over Democrats and Republicans who did not support Friday night’s four-week stopgap bill—underscores the trust deficit that has engulfed the Senate for months, and the historic inability of Congress to act on comprehensive immigration reform. A supermajority of Democrats in both chambers has, thus far, held the line on voting against any government funding bill that does not include legal protections for DACA recipients—the undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children.
It remains to be seen whether McConnell’s colleagues—Democrats, in particular—will be willing to take the majority leader at his word. But according to early indications on Sunday night, such a proposal was unlikely to win over enough Democrats.