Two days away from a government shutdown, there is still is no indication how, or when, the debate over a sweeping immigration reform bill will begin. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell promised to bring bills covering immigration, defense and other issues to the floor for votes if no solutions were set forth in the spending bill that needed to pass before February 8 in order to keep the government open.
Conservatives are pushing McConnell to bring the White House’s plan to a vote even though all Democrats, as well as a considerable portion of Republicans, oppose it. That plan calls for a pathway to citizenship for 1.8 million undocumented immigrants, $25 billion in border wall funding, and an end to chain migration and the visa lottery programs.
Democrats oppose that plan but have yet to propose a counter-proposal. Deputies in each chamber that were enlisted to find a compromise haven’t gotten nowhere. The budget deadline is two days away.
Republican Senate number two, John Cornyn, was asked what kind of bill McConnell plans to introduce as the starting point for negotiations. “I don’t know,” he responded. “That’s Senator McConnell’s decision to make, and I don’t know.”