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I apologize for being absent for a long time. I have been selfish because when I needed advice or knowledge about DACA and the process, this forum and it's members were the only ones that were always willing to help in any way possible. I got caught up with life and growing up, being a father, trying to provide for my family and other things. I guess I thought that since I already had my EAD, I had nothing else to do here. I was dead wrong, we are still fighting the good fight not only for us but for the generations after us. Now I find myself on another process trying to get permanent residency through advance parole. If anyone has any questions about what I filled or the process in general, feel free to message me.· 0 replies
A blame game will consume Washington if the government shuts down this Friday
But first, lawmakers from both sides of the aisle must play the dare game.
Republicans will essentially dare Democrats to vote no on an interim spending plan to avoid a shutdown. If Democrats vote yes, the government remains open. But if Democrats cast nay ballots, Republicans will try to turn that decision against vulnerable lawmakers in the midterm elections.
By the same token, Democrats will dare Republicans to reject the same stopgap plan. This is a hope that the GOP -- wielding majorities in both the House and Senate and President Trump occupying the White House -- will present themselves as incapable of governing. A nay vote by Republicans could trigger a government shutdown. Democrats will cast the shutdown as emblematic of the bedlam associated with the Trump presidency.
The irony is that neither side truly wants to stumble into a government shutdown this weekend. But Republicans and Democrats alike are daring the other side to do so.
If the government shutters, only then will the sides engage in a ritualistic tournament of blame.
Here’s what’s at stake:
House Republican leaders hope to approve an interim spending bill to run the government through February 16 and avert a shutdown. Latched to the package is a multi-year extension of a popular health care coverage plan for children. The bill is notably devoid of any DACA language to help persons brought to the U.S. illegally by their parents.
But here’s the problem: Republicans may lack the votes on their side to pass the plan unilaterally without seeking Democratic support. Conservatives and members of the Freedom Caucus balk over a host of issues. Many Republicans seethe that their leaders authored a fourth emergency bill to fund the government and not a full-blown plan for the balance of the year. Republican defense hawks are apoplectic they haven’t secured a hike in military spending. Some GOPers like Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., and Carlos Curbelo, R-Fla., won’t vote yes because the party has yet to address DACA.
House Republicans can only lose 23 votes on their side of the aisle before needing Democrats to fill the void and approve the Continuing Resolution or “CR,” Congressional shorthand for the caretaker spending package. Democrats won’t budge unless they marshal a DACA fix.
“It needs to be in the CR,” said House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Md.
House Republicans whipped the CR Wednesday afternoon to assess their internal vote tally. A senior Republican source described the whip count as “standard” starting place for most bills of this magnitude.
“They do not have the votes,” augured House Freedom Caucus Chairman Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C. “Now I’m not saying they won’t have the votes….”
Meadows described the circumstances as “fluid.” But the North Carolina Republican doubted there would be a government shutdown “because nobody wants one.”
However, Meadows observed that Republican leaders continue to punt, repeatedly engineering provisional bills which fund the government for short spurts. Congress OK’d the first CR in September, followed by two encore CRs in December.
“At some point you have to decide why the fourth CR is different than the second or the third and I don’t think there’s a compelling case,” said Meadows.
Meadows observed the House is scheduled to be out of session next week and then meet in abbreviated stints in late January and early February. That almost stretches until when the funding would again lapse. Lawmakers of both parties scratch their heads as to how they can forge a pact between now and mid-February.
So, the House is slated to vote on the CR today. Will it work?
“Yes,” predicted Rep. Mike Simpson, R-Idaho. “Because we don’t want to be here Saturday.”
Then there’s a question if such a measure could make it through the Senate. The bill must hurdle the threat of a filibuster by commanding 60 yeas. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., is still out, convalescing after surgery. That means the GOP has only 50 members with which to work. If Republicans stick together, they’d have to enlist the support of at least ten Democrats to crack the 60 vote threshold.
“That is a high bar,” conceded Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., when asked if all Republicans would vote in lockstep.
“I don’t think it’s a given that everyone votes yes,” said Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., the third-most senior Republican in the body. “It will take a little whip work to get there.”
The whipping could start with Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., a fierce advocate of boosting defense spending.
“I’m not going to vote for a CR. You’re destroying the military here,” said Graham.
Graham says short-term spending measures disproportionately wound the military compared to other areas of government. It makes it hard for the Pentagon to plan and train.
“I think we’re back in the land of the CRs,” said Graham. “Anybody who thought you could get defense funding without doing DACA was pretty naïve.”
Even so, could some Senate Democrats feel pressure to vote for the CR based on the children’s health insurance program provision alone? Consider Democratic senators facing re-election this fall in competitive states. Republicans would love to dare Sens. Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., to vote against children’s health insurance. A roll call vote like that would supply Republicans with good political fodder. But again, Republicans must supply sufficient votes from their side.
That’s far from a certainty.
Otherwise, the government shuts down. Or, Republicans have to turn to another tactic.
Aside from the current gambit, it’s likely Congress can try two other approaches to avoid a shutdown. Lawmakers could adopt a clean CR, simply re-upping all funding at current levels. But senior sources say there’s no way to decouple children’s health dollars from the spending package. The other option is a CR loaded with a DACA fix. That maneuver would command the votes of some Republicans and scores of Democrats. But Republican leaders may not be leaders much longer if they take that approach.
So, what happens today?
“We’ll learn something soon about (House Speaker) Paul Ryan, R-Wis.,” said one House Republican about the current CR scheme. “We’ll know if Ryan can pull this off, or if he’s only good at passing tax reform.”
“If there is a shutdown, our fingerprints aren’t on it,” said Rep. Louise Slaughter, D-N.Y., of her Democratic colleagues.
So first, there’s the dare game. We’ll likely know today which side won the dare. But if the government shuts down, we may have to wait until November to see who emerged victorious in the blame game.
Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said on Wednesday evening that a bipartisan immigration agreement has the support of a majority of the Senate.
"The math is simple. We have 56 senators ready to move forward with this issue," he said.
Four GOP senators signed onto the "Gang of Six" proposal. In addition to GOP Sens. Linsey Graham (S.C.), Cory Gardner (Colo.) and Jeff Flake (Ariz.) — who negotiated the deal—that brings the total number of Senate Republicans supporting the agreement to seven.
Durbin's remarks would mean that he's gotten the support of the entire 49-member Democratic caucus.
That would require winning over red state Democrats up for reelection next year as well as progressives and potential 2020 hopefuls, many of whom have pressed for a "clean" immigration bill.
A spokesman for Durbin didn't immediately respond to a request for comment confirming the No. 2 Democrat had received the support from every member of his caucus.
Asked earlier Wednesday if he thought he would be able to bring every Democrat on board, Durbin indicated that he thought they would.
But 56 supporters still leaves the bill short of the 60 votes that are likely going to be needed to overcome a filibuster. It also doesn't have the support of GOP leadership or President Trump—which Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has made a condition to getting a floor vote.
Supporters of the bill—including Durbin, GOP Sens. Jeff Flake (Ariz.) and Lindsey Graham (S.C.), and Democratic Sens. Michael Bennet (Colo.) and Bob Menendez (N.J.)—pressed Senate leadership to bring up their bill in back-to-back floor speeches.
"I do believe that we have a proposal that can get 60 votes. ...That's what this bill is designed to do. In the end, that's what it's going to take, 60 votes," Flake said.
He added that "if we're waiting for the White House to come to us with a proposal that they can support, we're likely waiting for a long time. ...We have a proposal here that can garner enough support to pass the Senate. So let's move on with it."
Durbin, referring to the higher 60-vote threshold, argued that the other four votes "are there."
The bipartisan deal would tie a fix for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program that includes a path to citizenship with more than $2.7 billion in border security, an elimination of the Diversity Visa Lottery and changes to family-based immigration.
I did the advance parole and I am now in the application process for permanent residency. I went back to my birthplace in Mexico where I had not been since I was 4 years old. It was culture shock to say the least. I visited my grandma whom I had not seen for a very long time and learned a lot about my roots and heritage. I was out of the U.S for a total of 6 days.
I am in the process of mine, I had to get a sponsor because my wife doesn't have enough income. Been just over 3 months since I sent the required forms with the information of my sponsor. Haven't heard anything yet.. In the USCIS website it says I may have to wait up to six months.