Contradicting McConnell, Gardner says DACA will only be considered after Senate agrees on other issues

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Senator Cory Gardner (R).

Contradicting U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, who expressed his “intention” to allow a Senate vote on DACA and other immigration issues, even if other issues, like defense spending and disaster relief, were not resolved, U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner today walked back expectations that a DACA vote will actually occur, stating that Senate agreements on “funding the federal budget for the year,” on budget caps,” and on “defense spending” must be completed before the Senate will take up the “DACA issue.”

Gardner: “The government reopened,” said Gardner on KHOW 760-AM’s Ross Kaminsky Show today. “And now we have till February 8th to get a number of things done, including agreement on funding of the federal government for the year, the budget caps that need to get done, along with defense spending. And then if that is all accomplished, I think Senator McConnell has said that he will do what he said he do Friday night, and that’s turn to a debate on the DACA issue.” [listen below; emphasis added]

Gardner, who was a member of the so-called Gang of Six senators who spearheaded negotiations to fund the federal government until Feb. 8, appears to be lowering expectations that any agreement on the Dreamers will be reached by Feb. 8, given the complications for senate approval of a full one-year budget deal and other issues.

Kaminsky asked Gardner directly what he thought Democrats would do “if that other stuff takes a long time and we start getting near the end of this C.R. period and there isn’t progress on DACA.”

Gardner: “Well, I think that’s exactly the way Senator McConnell laid it out last night,” Gardner replied. “I think what he said was, ‘Fund the government. Get it going, and then we’ll turn to immigration issues dealing and relating to DREAMers, DACA.’ So, I think that’s what he has said, you know. And it needs to be done because quite frankly, if you don’t do that then you end up in the same situation we are, with another shutdown. And that’s simply unacceptable, too. So I think the promise was made to get that done to — you know, if people agreed to get that done, then just shift to this immigration debate.”

Garnder’s statement contradicts the “intention” of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to bring up DACA even if other issues, including military spending, disaster relief, healthcare, and border security, have not been resolved by the Feb. 8 deadline. (Watch McConnell’s statement yesterday here.)

McConnell: “However, should these issues [including defense spending and disaster relief] not be resolved by the time the funding bill before us expires on Feb. 8, 2018, assuming that the government remains open, it would be my intention to proceed to legislation that would address DACA, border security and related issues,” McConnell said yesterday.

Gardner’s office didn’t return a call for comment.

During a CNN interview yesterday, Gardner again lowered expectations for passage of a DACA bill, saying he believes serious concessions will be necessary to bring more Republicans on board, such as extending the Dreamers’ path to citizenship beyond the 12 years currently proposed and providing more funding for the border wall. And the bill needs to pass with a conservative majority, he said. A 48-12 split, with Democrats in the majority won’t fly.

Listen to Jan. 23 KHOW interview here beginning at 1 min 20 seconds

Partial transcript of Gardner’s KHOW interview this morning:

GARDNER:: [00:00:23] Well, what’s interesting, Ross, is we’re sitting here on Tuesday after having gone through a three day government shutdown, basically under the same agreement that was rejected on Friday night. When it was clear that Senator Schumer wanted to shut the government down and he wasn’t going to provide the votes to do that, he was offered a three week continuing resolution with an agreement to shift to a[n] immigration debate on DACA. This is what to do with children who came here at a very young age, through no fault of their own. And that was rejected. And I think they got into the weekend, they realized that shutting down the government — you know, hurting veterans, hurting active duty military, hurting CDC flu programs, imperiling vital federal research, you know, all of the collateral damage that that could create — actually took people further apart instead of bringing people closer together, making it more difficult to find a solution. And so they agreed to that yesterday. The government reopened. And now we have [un]till February 8th to get a number of things done, including agreement on funding of the federal government for the year, the budget caps that need to get done, along with defense spending. And then if that is all accomplished, I think Senator McConnell has said that he will do what he said he do Friday night, and that’s turn to a debate on the DACA issue.

KAMINSKY:: [00:01:41] So, you’re kind of making it sound like the DACA issue will only come up in the Senate if a whole bunch of other stuff — that isn’t necessarily easy stuff — gets done first. And if I’m hearing you right, then if that other stuff takes a long time and we start getting near the end of this C.R. period and there isn’t progress on DACA, you know, then what are the Democrats going to do?

GARDNER:: [00:02:06] Well, I think that’s exactly the way Senator McConnell laid it out last night. I think what he said was, “Fund the government get it going, and then we’ll turn to immigration issues dealing and relating to DREAMers, DACA.” So, I think that’s what he has said, you know. And it needs to be done because quite frankly, if you don’t do that then you end up in the same situation we are, with another shutdown. And that’s simply unacceptable, too. So I think the promise was made to get that done to — you know, if people agreed to get that done, then just shift to this immigration debate. And I think it’s important that we do, because this needs to be addressed. This problem and challenge we face is not going away. We have to come up with a solution that the President can support.

7 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. bullshit! says:

    Chances of Dems taking it in the shorts: 99.998%. We lost our asses on this one, peeps.

  2. Diogenesdemar says:

    It’s like a Tarantino movie anymore . . .

    . . . figuring out which of these fucking liars you can maybe, kinda’, sorta’, believe a little, and when?

  3. mamajama55 says:

    Schumer on Maddow last night:

    I hate to say it, but it really does seem like he "caved" for not much gain. He admits McConnell does not always tell the truth. His last ditch hope is that when people start seeing dreamers getting deported, when those "awful, terrible pictures" start being spread on the media, that somehow everyone will  have a change of heart and get DACA reauthorized right away.

    Those heart-rending pictures are already out there.

    Those economic consequences are already out there – not only because of DACA, but because of increased deportation generally.

    In small towns, people are being disappeared. Crops are not getting harvested. Dairies are without workers. Folks with outstanding bills and loans are unable to pay them because they can't work (122 losing work status every day DACA is in limbo) or because they're well, gone.  Into an ICE detention center, where they make money for the private prison industry but are often abused, or voluntarily leaving the country. I've lost maybe a dozen students in the last year. Those families have also left the community, taking their labor and dollars with them.

    So I'm not putting too much faith in a sudden awakening of the moral conscience of America to help the Dreamers. And Schumer's asking for people to call their Congresspeople. We'll do that – but if the occupation of their offices by desperate young people who are productive, who are not criminals, who are Americans in all but paperwork is not moving the Senate and the House, what will?

    I think it's good that CHIP has been reauthorized for 6 years and that McConnell can't cynically try to pit citizen kids against DACA kids.  So now, McConnell is trying to pit government worker families against DACA kids, and expecting Dems to cave again.

    And Cory Gardner is helping him to set that up. 

  4. The realist says:

    Elections have consequences. And when the majority in the House, Senate, and White House has no ethics, no morals, and their word is NEVER their bond, then you have an autocracy in which the minority has little if any power. Really, stop blaming the Democrats for the failings of the Republicans.

    The Dems could drag this out next time around, but then the Repubs could perhaps do what #TrumpsterFire wants them to do – use the "nuclear option" in the Senate. Add in the massive voter suppression attempts and other Republican actions, and the "non-woke" in this country will be boiled frogs in the pot before they understand what Republicans and #TrumpsterFire are doing. Sad but true.

    This country is truly in trouble. If you're not actively working for success in November, you're part of the problem.

    • Duke Cox says:

      +100 on every word…

      particularly the part about blaming Democrats for Republicans failings.

      The Republican party of 20 years ago is dead and never coming back. There is no scenario in which the Trumpublicans will not take this country into a full blown fascist oligarchy, perhaps even to a dictatorship. "Strongmen" political leaders are ascendant nowadays. Old geo-political relationships are unraveling…

      and America is on the brink of losing its place in the world.

       

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