The morning after reports emerged that President Donald Trump struck a deal with top Democrats on immigration, some Republican lawmakers took to Twitter to express their outrage and request more information about the supposed agreement.
Following Trump’s White House dinner with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday evening, which did not include any GOP lawmakers, the Democratic leaders released a statement describing their discussion as “very productive,” and noted that they had “agreed to enshrine the protections of DACA into law quickly, and to work out a package of border security, excluding the wall, that’s acceptable to both sides.”
DACA refers to the Obama-era program that protects some 800,000 people living in the US illegally from being deported and allows them to work in the US legally. The program applies specifically to people who were brought to the US as minors.
Rep. Steve King, an Iowa Republican, tweeted his outrage on Wednesday night at Trump’s reported deal with Schumer and Pelosi: “Unbelievable! Amnesty is a pardon for immigration law breakers coupled with the reward of the objective of their crime.”
King said that if the deal comes to pass, Trump’s base would be “blown up, destroyed, irreparable, and disillusioned beyond repair.”
“No promise is credible,” he added.
Sen. Chuck Grassley, another Iowa Republican, tweeted asking the president’s staff to brief him on the agreement.
“@realDonaldTrump Morn news says u made deal w Schumer on DACA/hv ur staff brief me/ I know u undercut JudiCimm effort 4 biparty agreement,” he wrote, referring to the Judiciary Committee’s process for such agreements.
Politico’s Rachel Bade reported that GOP lawmakers felt “blindsided” by the deal and Trump’s “rogue” bipartisanship.
A host of conservative media commentators slammed Trump over the reported agreement. Breitbart News plastered its website with a bright red headline reading “Amnesty Don” and an article titled “Trump Caves In on DACA.”
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders attempted to mitigate the panic on Wednesday evening, tweeting, “While DACA and border security were both discussed, excluding the wall was certainly not agreed to.”
And Trump insisted on Thursday morning that “no deal was made last night on DACA.”
“Massive border security would have to be agreed to in exchange for consent. Would be subject to vote,” he tweeted.
He followed up later that morning with two tweets defending the protection of DACA recipients and told reporters that the wall would be built, but “it will be funded a little bit later.”
“Does anybody really want to throw out good, educated and accomplished young people who have jobs, some serving in the military? Really!” Trump wrote. “They have been in our country for many years through no fault of their own – brought in by parents at young age. Plus BIG border security.”
Later on Thursday morning, Trump insisted that top Republicans agree with him on DACA.
“Mitch is on board. Paul Ryan is on board. We all feel — look, 92% of the people agree on DACA,” he told reporters.
Pelosi and Schumer released another statement on Thursday saying that the president’s tweets “were not inconsistent” with their agreement, and noted that Trump said he would pursue the construction of the border wall “at a later time.”
Many Republicans are reeling after a week in which the president has seemingly embraced bipartisanship, striking a deal with Democrats last week to temporarily suspend the federal debt ceiling, fund the government, and provide Hurricane Harvey relief over the strong objection of his own advisers and Republican leadership.
And the president has repeatedly signalled that he intends to continue working across the aisle.
“If you look at some of the greatest legislation ever passed, it was done on a bipartisan manner. And so that’s why we’re going to give it a shot,” Trump said.
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