McConnell: Lawmakers shouldn't push for DACA deal this week
Posted January 16, 2018 4:47 p.m. EST
WASHINGTON (CNN) — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell addressed the government shutdown threat on the Senate floor Tuesday by pushing for a longer negotiating period on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
"It is clear that Congress has at least until March -- at a minimum, and maybe even longer -- to reach a compromise on the DACA question," McConnell said, citing the court order that froze the wind-down of the program and led to the administration taking new renewal applications from the young undocumented immigrants it covers.
"There is no reason my colleagues should hold government funding hostage over the issue of illegal immigration," McConnell said.
If Congress doesn't pass a funding bill by Friday, the government could be heading for a shutdown on the one-year anniversary of Donald Trump's presidency.
Democrats have signaled they wouldn't be quick to fund the government without a guarantee that there is a plan on the way to protect hundreds of thousands of young recipients of DACA, which expires in March.
After Trump's incendiary language and his rejection of a bipartisan deal last week, Democrats may be leaning more toward withholding their votes on a spending compromise.