aside Democrats, It’s Time For A Government Shutdown If Republicans Don’t Support A Clean DACA Bill

Image result for photos about 1/11/18 meeting with trumpUntil recently, I was truly desirous of the Democrats working with this president and fellow republicans colleagues, even if it meant that Democrats would have to cave by giving the president a win with funds for his Wall in order to pass real immigration reform.

My thinking hardened when the republican President Donald J. Trump chose to blow up a bi-partisan plan worked on by Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Senator Lindsey Graham and 4 others, to fix the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) program and other immigration issues, at a Thursday morning meeting (1/11/18). Senators Durbin and Graham were prepared to present their proposal, but the president chose to renege on earlier commitments to approve any bi-partisan work product by blowing up the meeting with profanity and by referring to Haiti, El Salvador and African countries as shxtholes,

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I had been one of those foolish who believed the president when he held an earlier meeting with congressional lawmakers on 1/9/18, to work on immigration legislation where TV cameras were present. The president announced in front of the cameras that he was willing to sign any immigration reform agreed to by both republicans and democrats.

Meanwhile, the president’s anti-immigration senior adviser Stephen Miller acted with alacrity to shut down the president’s magnanimous attitude towards DACA and immigration reforms. By the time the democrats and republicans were ready to present a bi-partisan proposal to the president on Thursday, January 11, 2018, republican anti-immigration hardliners were also present at the president’s meeting which included republican Senators Tom Cotton of Arkansas, David Perdue of Georgia and others. This is when the president resorted to vulgarity to shut down the meeting.

John Kelly
GENERAL JOHN KELLY/ Saul Loeb | AFP | Getty Images

What truly upsets me is the role that that the president’s Chief of Staff General John Kelly played in the tactics to shut down the bi-partisan immigration reforms. In the past, his actions towards with the widow of Sgt. La David Johnson’s widow Myeshia, had troubled me at the time but I gave him the benefit of the doubt. I did not want to view him as a military leader with racist feelings. I can no longer consider General Kelly as a moderating force operating within the White House.

As per a 1/9/18 PBS report with Judy Woodruff as host:

“We begin tonight with politics, and a striking look inside high-level talks over how to reduce and reform immigration here in the U.S.”

“Today (1/9/18), a group of both Republican and Democratic senators and House members met with President Trump at the White House to discuss this contentious issue, including DACA, the program that shields hundreds of thousands of young undocumented people from deportation.”

“They stayed for 50 minutes, about 55 minutes, as the lawmakers made their — laid out their bargaining positions. It all began with the president saying that, on immigration, a signature campaign issue, he’s willing to sign whatever the lawmakers come up with.”

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My current thinking:

If Democrats do not hold the republicans feet to the fire to make them cooperate in passing a clean DACA bill in order for democrats to sign off on a budget bill to keep the US government from being shut down, then they don’t deserve a win in the upcoming November 2018 elections. If the republicans don’t fall in line with also passing CHIP and aid to Puerto Rico, then so be it. Make no mistake, republicans will own the shut down. President Trump cannot win on this one.

Here is the rest of the story…

On January 15, 2018, Josh Dawsey, Robert Costa and Ashley Parker of the Washington Post penned the following report, “Inside the tense, profane White House meeting on immigration”

Excerpts:

“When President Trump spoke by phone with Sen. Richard J. Durbin around 10:15 a.m. last Thursday (1/11/18), he expressed pleasure with Durbin’s outline of a bipartisan immigration pact and praised the high-ranking Illinois Democrat’s efforts, according to White House officials and congressional aides.”

“The president then asked if Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.), his onetime foe turned ally, was on board, which Durbin affirmed. Trump invited the lawmakers to visit with him at noon, the people familiar with the call said.”

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“But when they arrived at the Oval Office, the two senators were surprised to find that Trump was far from ready to finalize the agreement. He was “fired up” and surrounded by hard-line conservatives such as Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), who seemed confident that the president was now aligned with them, according to one person with knowledge of the meeting.”

“Trump told the group he wasn’t interested in the terms of the bipartisan deal that Durbin and Graham had been putting together. And as he shrugged off suggestions from Durbin and others, the president called nations from Africa “shithole countries,” denigrated Haiti and grew angry. The meeting was short, tense and often dominated by loud cross-talk and swearing, according to Republicans and Democrats familiar with the meeting.”

In a White House meeting with Senators, President Trump said he wanted more immigrants from Norway instead of from "Shithole" countries in Africa and Haiti.

“Trump’s ping-ponging from dealmaking to feuding, from elation to fury, has come to define the contentious immigration talks between the White House and Congress, perplexing members of both parties as they navigate the president’s vulgarities, his combativeness and his willingness to suddenly change his position. The blowup has derailed those negotiations yet again and increased the possibility of a government shutdown over the fate of hundreds of thousands of young undocumented immigrants known as “dreamers.”

 “This account of the events surrounding Thursday’s explosive meeting is based on interviews with more than a dozen White House officials, Capitol Hill aides and lawmakers. “

“The fight has left congressional leaders unsure of whether they will eventually come to an agreement. Some remain optimistic that Trump can be walked back to the political center and will cut a deal that expands border security while protecting those under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which Trump has ordered ended.”

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“Last Thursday (1/11/18) was a critical moment in the stalled negotiations, revealing the president’s priorities even as the discussion fell apart.”

“Trump complained that there wasn’t enough money included in the deal for his promised wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. He also objected that Democratic proposals to adjust the visa lottery and federal policy for immigrants with temporary protected status were going to drive more people from countries he deemed undesirable into the United States instead of attracting immigrants from places like Norway and Asia, people familiar with the meeting said.”

“Attendees who were alarmed by the racial undertones of Trump’s remarks were further disturbed when the topic of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) came up, these people said.”

“At one point, Durbin told the president that members of that caucus — an influential House group — would be more likely to agree to a deal if certain countries were included in the proposed protections, according to people familiar with the meeting.”

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COTTON/ TRUMP/ PERDUE

“Trump was curt and dismissive, saying he was not making immigration policy to cater to the CBC and did not particularly care about that bloc’s demands, according to people briefed on the meeting. “You’ve got to be joking,” one adviser said, describing Trump’s reaction. White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly was in the room and was largely stone-faced, not giving any visible reaction when Trump said “shithole countries” or when he said Haitians should not be part of any deal, White House advisers said.”

“At one point, Graham told Trump he should use different language to discuss immigration, people briefed on the meeting said.”

“As Trump batted back the Democrats, he was urged on by Republican lawmakers. Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) told Graham and Durbin their proposal would not fly, and he told the group they should instead embrace his more conservative bill. Durbin was not interested, White House officials said.”

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“After Graham left, he told associates that he was disturbed by what he heard in the Oval Office, according to people who spoke with him, and that it was evident the deal’s antagonists had gotten to Trump. Graham and Durbin also told allies that they were stunned that the other lawmakers were present — and that Trump’s tone seemed so different than it had been days or even hours before.”

“Graham declined to comment on the president’s reported obscenity. He has told others in his circle that commenting would only hurt the chance of a deal and that he wants to keep a relationship with the president.”

“There had initially been hope for the Thursday meeting. Trump had told lawmakers during a partially televised session two days earlier that he was flexible. “I’ll sign it,” he said Tuesday of whatever bill was brought to him. He even said he would be willing to lock the door of the Cabinet room if they wanted to negotiate at the White House, according to people who heard his comments.”

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“Trump went on to say at the earlier meeting that he wanted a deal and that even those in the conservative House Freedom Caucus should work with Durbin. In the hours and days afterward, a bipartisan group of senators — Graham, Durbin, Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), and Sens. Michael F. Bennet (D) and Cory Gardner (R) of Colorado — began meeting and broadly agreed to a proposal.”

“But some White House officials, including conservative adviser Stephen Miller, feared that Graham and Durbin would try to trick Trump into signing a bill that was damaging to him and would hurt him with his political base. As word trickled out Thursday morning on Capitol Hill that Durbin and Graham were heading over to the White House, legislative affairs director Marc Short began to make calls to lawmakers and shared many of Miller’s concerns.”

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“Soon, Goodlatte, one of the more conservative House members on immigration, was headed to the White House. Trump also called House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and asked him to come, McCarthy said. Sens. David Perdue (R-Ga.) and Cotton were also invited to rush over.”

“In the late morning, before Durbin and Graham arrived, Kelly — who had already been briefed on the deal — talked to Trump to tell him that the proposal would probably not be good for his agenda, White House officials said. Kelly, a former secretary of homeland security, has taken an increasingly aggressive and influential role in the immigration negotiations, calling lawmakers and meeting with White House aides daily — more than he has on other topics. He has “very strong feelings,” in the words of one official. But he’s not a lone voice. Trump in recent weeks has also been talking more to conservatives such as Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) on immigration, these people said.”

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“White House officials say Kelly is determined to secure a deal on dreamers and border security and has told Trump that the southwestern border is worse than it was a few years ago — and that he can be the president to change the status quo.”

“Once we saw what was going on in the meeting a few days earlier, we were freaked out,” said immigration hard-liner Mark Krikorian, who runs the Center for Immigration Studies. Trump, he said, “has hawkish instincts on immigration, but they aren’t well-developed.”

“After the Thursday meeting, Trump began telling allies that the proposal was a “terrible deal for me,” according to a friend he spoke with, and that Kelly and other aides and confidants were correct in advising him to back away.”

“It wasn’t a serious proposal. It was not viewed as a serious proposal because it did so little to address the immigration issues that the president has been vocal about,” said Meadows, who leads the conservative House Freedom Caucus. “It was, if I had to put it in a 1-to-10 range, with 10 being the most conservative and 1 being the most liberal, I would give it a 2.5.”

“Trump was not particularly upset by the coverage of the meeting and his vulgarity after it was first reported by The Washington Post, calling friends and asking how they expected it to play with his political supporters, aides said.”

“Everyone was saying it would help with the base,” which would agree with his characterization, one person who spoke with the president said.”

“By Thursday evening, many White House aides were concerned that the story was exploding beyond the usual level for a Trump controversy, but they carried on with their plans for the night: a send-off for deputy national security adviser Dina Powell, a former Goldman Sachs executive and ally of Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump. Nearly every top official ducked into the exclusive Italian restaurant Cafe Milano in Georgetown to toast Powell. There was little effort to significantly push back on the story that night because aides knew that Trump had said it and that the president wasn’t even too upset, according to people involved in the talks.”

“Then Friday morning, Trump appeared to suggest in a tweet that he had not used the objectionable word at all: “The language used by me at the DACA meeting was tough, but this was not the language used.”

“Three White House officials said Perdue and Cotton told the White House that they heard “shithouse” rather than “shithole,” allowing them to deny the president’s comments on television over the weekend. The two men initially said publicly that they could not recall what the president said.”

“Going forward, a path to an immigration deal remains hazy.”

“I expect that we’ll get more Republican support for the proposal because it’s really the only game in town. I expect there will be more negotiations — we didn’t write the Bible,” Graham said Monday. “We wrote a proposal that over time we can make it better.”

“Based on what they proposed originally, Durbin and Graham are running a marathon, and they’re only in Mile 2,” Meadows said.”

18 comments

    • Dear Suzanne,

      I wish the US Congress had a leader to stop the anti-immigration republican lawmakers from hijacking the rest from passing a compromise immigration bill as suggested by Senators Durbin and Lindsay.

      I had such hopes that Congress could finally to something decent like DACA on a bi=partisan basis.

      Thanks a million times over for all of your support and for this reblog.

      Hugs, Gronda

  1. Hate to say I told you so…. Trump is a maniac, he just can’t help sabotage everything Obama built. Given Trump’s extremely thin skin, he is prone to erratic unreasonable behavior.

    Now he blames Senator Durbin for “misrepresented what he had said about some third-world nations and, in the process, undermined the trust needed to make a deal on DACA.”

    So the DACA deal is in jeopardy and he’s lashing out like a child! I can see a gov’t shutdown b/c Trump cannot negotiate a deal with Dems. He’s suppose to be a businessman who wrote “the art of the deal”?

    Lada Ray was right, in her Webinar she indicated how Trump with be tied up and not accomplish anything meaningful for his term in office. He is unwilling to work with Dems b/c of his oversized ego and bullying personality. She did give great solutions on how Dems can work around Trump and his sycophantic Repubs by neutralizing them strategically. Unfortunately our Democratic Party has no real leadership to accomplish their goals. They can only whine and blame Trump. Sadly the DNC has not learned anything from Hillary’s defeat, criticizing your opponent does not get you anything, the Dems must learn to lead their party into a new era.

    Bashing Trump only makes him and his base more obstinate and vengeful. To quote MLK, “If we do an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth, we will be a blind and toothless nation!”

    The key here is cooler heads prevail, since Trump is such a hotheaded spoiled brat, Dems must treat him like a wise, understanding, patient parent would their own child. Being critical, whiny, playing the blame game will never work b/c that what an impetuous child does…. someone has to play the role of the PARENT!

    • Dear !EarthUnited,

      The Democrats may or may not rise to the occasion but there is no way they are going to cow tow to the likes of this president. who is a racist, a chronic liar, completely devoid of a moral compass They are never going to normalize his behavior.

      This is a time when a real leader Martin Luther King’s words come to mind:

      “True peace is not merely the absence of tension; it is the presence of justice.”

      “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”

      “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”

      “All we say to America is, ‘Be true to what you said on paper.’ If I lived in China or even Russia, or any totalitarian country, maybe I could understand the denial of certain basic First Amendment privileges, because they hadn’t committed themselves to that over there. But somewhere I read of the freedom of assembly. Somewhere I read of the freedom of speech. Somewhere I read of the freedom of the press. Somewhere I read that the greatness of America is the right to protest for right.”

      “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

      “Darkness cannot drive out darkness: Only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: Only love can do that.”

      “That old law about ‘an eye for an eye’ leaves everybody blind.”

      “The time is always right to do the right thing.”

      For the “Coalition of the Decent,” the “Never Trumpers,”the Resistance participants including those of the “Women’s March, Indivisible and others, the Democrats along with the majority of Independents and a significant number of republicans which is the majority of Americans, the President will never get a repeat performance.

      The president has done something positive. He has awoken the majority from their laissez faire attitude. We are not going to take this US democracy for granted again.

      Hugs, Gronda

      • Thanks for sharing inspirational quotes from a great leader! Sadly we don’t have anyone remotely close to his caliber. Today we have political pundits and inane talking heads that say very little, and a tweeting president for god sakes. How much lower can we go before hitting rock bottom? Perhaps Oprah should run for President…. it’s not over ’till….. 🙂

  2. Reblogged this on Filosofa's Word and commented:
    Every year in recent history, there has been a threat of a government shutdown because the two sides, republican and democrat, cannot agree on a few points to come up with a workable budget. Almost every year, there is a resolution at the 11th hour, a budget is agreed upon in Congress and signed by the president just in time to keep the federal government up and running. Ho-hum … same ol’ same ol’. This year is no exception, which was already a given, considering the polarization between the two sides in Congress and the idiot-in-residence at the White House. But this year, perhaps there will be no 11th hour solution, for the idiot-in-residence does not seem to be willing to put the good of the nation ahead of his own waning popularity. Our friend Gronda has written an excellent post showing us what happened last week and explaining how one person, Donald Trump, has put our nation in jeopardy to assuage his own ego. Please take a few moments to read Gronda’s post. Thank you, Gronda!

  3. Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
    SHUT IT DOWN!! … the threat is always brought forth!
    ‘This year, perhaps there will be no 11th hour solution, for the idiot-in-residence does not seem to be willing to put the good of the nation ahead of his own waning popularity. ‘
    The governance of this nation is in tatters!!

    • Dear Horty,

      The president had his chance to demonstrate some leadership to do something decent for a change. It was a moment in time that was too good to be true for this president.

      What really upsets me is that General Kelly was a party to this blow-up. He was acting in cahoots with the likes of Stephen Miller, a White Nationalist.

      I now consider General Kelly to be in the same category of Mr. Miller and the AG Jeff Sessions. I am so disappointed in the General’s lack of leadership. Does he not realize the harm that he has done?

      Thanks a million times for all of your support and for this reblog.

      Hugs, Gronda

      • You are most welcome, as always!! I’ve never had and never will, have any respect for anyone who works for or with this FIDIOT!!
        I’m angry … have been done Nov. 8 … 😡
        None are getting any chances from me!
        Directly translated from Spanish … ‘tell me who you hang with and I’ll tell you who you are”. 🤮 nothing surprises me anymore!

  4. Excellent post, Gronda. Trump seems to have a mind made of Silly Putty … it can be re-shaped almost instantly, depending on who he talks to. While not an advocate of a shutdown, for it is a dangerous situation, in this case, perhaps it is the wake-up call that Trump and the republicans need. Congressional republicans must stop licking his boots, or we are going nowhere. I am re-blogging … Thanks! Hugs!!!

    • Dear Jill,

      Originally I wanted the Democrats to compromise because peoples lives were on the line if fixes weren’t done for DACA, CHIP and aid to Puerto Rico and for me, if it took saving people’s lives, then what’s a wall or more security on the border.

      But the president couldn’t accept a win. The hardliners who we did not vote for like General Kelly and Stephen Miller took over and managed to make the president think that those working on a bipartisan bill were taking advantage of him and that his base would turn on him.

      Unless those in congress can work this out among themselves to pass something without input from the president, then Dems have no choice. They cannot go along with passing whatever funding bill the Rs have on the table without also being able to deliver on DACA, CHIP and aidt o PR. The shutdown is not an outcome that any sensible person wants but peoples lives cannot be bargained away.

      Thanks a million times over for all of your support and for this reblog.

      Hugs, Gronda

      • Compromise, yes. Giving away the bank? No. Apparently Trump and those members of the ‘Freedom Caucus’ do not understand the meaning of the word ‘compromise’. And what of John Kelly??? Remember when we had such hopes that he would tame da Trumpeter? Whatever happened to him. I am very disappointed in him. And now, Trump/Sessions are trying to push the Supreme Court into overturning Judge Alsup’s ruling that no deportations of Dreamers can begin. I am thoroughly disgusted by so many that I cannot even count them. Sigh.. Hugs!!!

        • Dear Jill,

          The anti-immigration hardliners in the administration are Gen. Kelly who in my mind is a closet racist, Stephen Miller, AG Jeff Sessions and Gene Hamilton.

          General Kelly probably knows people in the military who have given their lives for this country from the so called shxthole countries. He is not representative of the military overall and he does dishonor to it.

          Hugs, Gronda

  5. Iread a post today that reminded me that DACA was an Executive Order. We are in the this problem with DACA because tRump in an attempt to undo everything President Obama achieved rescinded the E.O.. It is not the Democrats fault at all. If the president really wanted a solution he could issue an E.O to fix what he broke. He is the one responsible for the problem not the democrats. The failure of the situation should be placed where it belongs, on the republicans fully. I agree the Dems shouldn’t buckle or give in, and they must stand firm. Plus they must all remind everyone on every news and media channel that this is entirely on the party that controls all three branches of the US government, republicans. Hugs

    • Dear Scottie,

      You are right. This was originally an Executive Order signed by President Obama. President Trump ordered the end of this order but he punted it to Congress. Yes, the republicans own this mess. They will own the shut-down but the Democrats have no choice.but to hold firm. They need to show peoples that they stand for something and that they will not allow people’s lives to be bargained away.

      Hugs, Gronda

  6. Gronda, this is a metaphor for Trump. He set the stage for two folks working together and encouraged their progress even two hours before the meeting. Then he betrays their effort and waylaid then with controversial invitees to the meeting and it devolved into his crude insults. He relishes in the crudeness and then when it hits the fans, he backtracks and lies and blames others. Then he coerces others into lying for him. This shows why you should not trust this man. He will throw anyone under the bus and has. Keith

  7. Dear Keith,

    You are so right. Now Senators Cotton and Perdue will be branded as liars forever. Hopefully other Congress reps will not want to follow in their footsteps.

    If I were in the US Congress, I would order an ethics review of what these 2 Senators did, especially as they were accusing others of being liars.

    Hugs, Gronda

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