- House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi said House Democrats would vote against a budding long-term funding deal in the Senate unless House Speaker Paul Ryan commits to a vote on an immigration deal.
- Pelosi wants a promise made to hold a vote on a bill that would codify the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals immigration program.
- The government is set to shut down Friday absent a new funding agreement.
House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi said in a statement that she would not support an emerging Senate budget deal that would avoid a government shutdown until House Speaker Paul Ryan commits to a vote on an immigration deal as well.
Pelosi said that while the budget deal contains “many Democratic priorities,” leadership would not urge members to vote for it until Ryan pledges to allow a bill to come to the floor that would codify the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals immigration program.
“This morning, we took a measure of our Caucus because the package does nothing to advance bipartisan legislation to protect Dreamers in the House,” Pelosi said. “Without a commitment from Speaker Ryan comparable to the commitment from Leader McConnell, this package does not have my support.”
During the previous shutdown, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer only agreed to a deal to reopen the government after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell promised to allow an open debate process on the Senate floor on DACA legislation.
DACA has become a key sticking point for Democrats, all of whom in the House voted Tuesday against a package to keep the government funded due to the lack of a DACA solution in the legislation.
The Obama-era program protects from deportation just shy of 700,000 unauthorised immigrants who were brought to the US as minors. President Donald Trump said the program would end in September but gave Congress a six-month window to pass legislation to protect DACA-recipients, whom Democrats call “Dreamers.”
AshLee Strong, a spokesperson for Ryan, said the speaker already intends to work on the DACA issue.
“Speaker Ryan has already repeatedly stated we intend to do a DACA and immigration reform bill – one that the president supports,” Strong told Business Insider.
The emerging Senate budget deal, which includes the outline for a two-year funding agreement and other items like a debt ceiling increase and disaster funding, appears to be the favoured solution in the upper chamber.
But any agreement would then need to be sent to the House for passage to avoid a shutdown at the end of the day Thursday.
Many conservative Republicans are likely to come out against the bill because it would increase spending above current limits by just under $US300 billion over the next two years.
That means the bill would need support of at least some Democrats, and if the conference is against it another shutdown could be on the horizon.
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