Paul Ryan Says He’s “Committed To Solving The DACA Challenge”

Update (6:00 pm ET): Speaker Paul Ryan has made what appears to be a half-hearted commitment to bringing an immigration bill to the floor – something Nancy Pelosi has demanded as an essential condition for her caucus to support a spending bill that would avert a government shutdown tonight. 

In the statement, Ryan says he is committed to bringing a bill to the floor that the president will pass.

“Now, let me say one more thing: I know that there is a real commitment to solving the DACA challenge in both political parties. That’s a commitment that I share. To anyone who doubts my intention to solve this problem and bring up a DACA and immigration reform bill, do not. We will bring a solution to the floor, one that the president will sign. We must pass this budget agreement first though, so that we can get on to that. So please know that we are committed to getting this done.

We’re unsure whether that passes the Pelosi test.

Read the full statement below:

“Our government has no higher responsibility than to support our men and women who are in harm’s way. For months now, we have been working to get our military the resources it needs to keep the peace. This budget agreement delivers on that commitment.

“It fully funds our national defense at levels that Secretary Mattis has requested. It provides what the Pentagon needs to restore our military’s edge for years to come. As Secretary Mattis said yesterday, and I quote, ‘Congressional action will ensure our military can defend our way of life.’

“Now that mission is hard enough, especially in a time of rapidly-evolving threats. But our military’s job has become exponentially harder because of the staggering readiness crisis that it is facing. I know I come up here and read off a whole bunch of statistics—you hear me do this every single week. This is the statistic that really gets to me: In 2017, we lost 80 service members in accidents and training incidents—nearly four times more than we lost in combat. In 2017, we lost 80 service members in accidents and training incidents—that’s about four times as many people we lost in combat. Just think about that.

“With better training and equipment, many of these deaths could have been prevented. This is a sad, and tragic, state of affairs. And this is why we can never allow anyone to politicize our military, or use our troops as bargaining chips. The stakes are just too high for this.

“Now, let me say one more thing: I know that there is a real commitment to solving the DACA challenge in both political parties. That’s a commitment that I share. To anyone who doubts my intention to solve this problem and bring up a DACA and immigration reform bill, do not. We will bring a solution to the floor, one that the president will sign. We must pass this budget agreement first though, so that we can get on to that. So please know that we are committed to getting this done.

“Before I turn it over to Chairman Thornberry, I want to take a moment, and I want to thank him. I want to thank Mac Thornberry, chairman of the Armed Services Committee, and all of the members of the Armed Services Committee, both Republicans and Democrats. Their leadership, and their unwavering commitment to our service members and their families, made this budget agreement possible. They live and breathe these problems. They know these issues. They know all the people who are fighting to keep us safe. They can tell you as well as anyone how critical it is that we get this done.”

 

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GOP Whip John Cornyn may have spoken too soon…

 

 

With less than ten hours left for both the Senate and House to pass a bill to extend financing for the federal government, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul is – once again – forcing a delay by objecting to certain spending levels.

The Congressional Budget Office just ruled that the spending deal would increase the deficit by $328 billion by 2022.

Paul has played the role of antagonist in the past, memorably back in late November when the GOP voted to pass a $4.5 trillion budget as a precursor to unlocking the reconciliation rules allowing Republicans to pass the Trump tax cuts through the senate with a simple majority vote.

 

…Meanwhile, Senate leaders have yet to begin procedural votes that were expected to begin nearly an hour ago…

 

…and they can’t say when that vote is expected to take place, because Paul – as Cornyn put it – “has concerns he wants to be able to voice.”

 

 

Once again, it appears the bipartisan deal struck between Chuck Schumer and Mitch McConnell was too much, too soon. As part of the deal, the two agreed to extend funding through March 23 while lifting spending caps that were imposed as part of the Budget Control Act of 2011 (the famous sequestration bill) while tentatively working out a two-year budget deal that would increase both domestic and military spending, provide money for disaster relief, combating the opiate crisis and – oh yeah – raising the debt ceiling. The Treasury’s emergency measures are expected to be tapped out early next month.

As we noted earlier, House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi is refusing to support the deal struck by her fellow Congressional leader because she wants to force a vote on an immigration bill to preserve DACA protections – the subject of a historic 8-hour-long speech on the House floor yesterday.

In a letter to her Democratic colleagues today, Pelosi accused Speaker Paul Ryan – who says he won’t call for a vote on DACA without Trump’s approval – of “demeaning the dignity of the House” and defying the will of the American people.

 

 

In the Senate, Democrat Elizabeth Warren is also balking at passing the spending bill without voting on an immigration deal. And the House Freedom Caucus

Without another extension – what would be the fifth since September – funding for the Federal government will run out at 12:01 Friday morning.

Meanwhile, the House Freedom Caucus is still trying to kill the deal struck by the Senate leaders.

Keep in mind, the Senate hasn’t started their procedural votes yet. Once the bill passes the Senate, the bill will need to pass through the House Rules Committee before it can be brought to the floor for a vote…

 

With markets spiraling lower again Thursday, the budget process is rapidly transforming into a “damned-if-they-do-damned-if-they-don’t” situation, because if it passes and widens the deficit…

 

 

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