As negotiations progress, here’s the advice from top aides deeply involved in the DACA process: Don’t get caught up in the highs and lows of various comments. At this stage, when things are so far from conclusion, one comment is going to sink things, and no one action is going to lead to a breakthrough.
Lawmakers and the administration are still a very long way from a resolution and they are in the middle of a lengthy process that will play out over weeks, if not longer.
So, that said:
Democrats – in the House especially – are very angry about chief of staff John Kelly’s comments about DACA eligible individuals that didn’t sign up. CNN’s Tal Kopan has a great behind the scenes look.
They will be furious today because of the looming budget deal. Many will all but nuke Democratic leadership with their outrage. Several said yesterday there is also a major push to get House Speaker Paul Ryan to commit to some kind of floor action before providing the votes to the budget deal. CNN is told Ryan is very unlikely to acquiesce to this, but keep an eye on it.
What to watch:
All eyes on how Senate Majority Leader McConnell structures the Senate floor debate next week. Highly recommend reading CNN’s Lauren Fox’s piece on this – which gives a good window into why Senate Democrats are relatively OK with where things are headed right now.
What really matters right now:
This remains unchanged: how lawmakers coalesce around various competing proposals in the Senate. As McConnell has made very clear – whatever gets 60 votes wins, regardless of what’s in it. There are a significant number of separate and divergent phone calls and drafting sessions going on behind the scenes to try and find some 60-vote sweet spot for every side’s proposals.
The Senate floor debate, which will start next week, will not be quick. Expect multiple weeks. This will be a lengthy process. Which, you know, is what floor debates on major issues were supposed to be like.
And your daily reminder:
No matter what the Senate does, nothing matters unless President Donald Trump is behind it. That was, is and will always be the metric for House Republicans. So in every sense, the President is the ballgame here.