BREAKING NEWS Douglas County reports new coronavirus case Full Story

Republican leaders pressure members against Durbin-Graham DACA bill

Republican Senate leadership is waging a quiet, behind-the-scenes pressure campaign to encourage GOP members to not s...

Posted: Jan 19, 2018 6:55 PM
Updated: Jan 19, 2018 6:55 PM

Republican Senate leadership is waging a quiet, behind-the-scenes pressure campaign to encourage GOP members to not sign onto a bipartisan immigration deal.

Sources say the pressure is directed at members who might support a bill proposed by Sens. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, and Dick Durbin, D-Illinois, and rest of the so-called Gang of Six.

Congress remained hours away from a government shutdown on Friday

Majority Whip John Cornyn's spokesman denied any active whip operation

Two GOP sources with knowledge of the process say Republican leadership -- including Sen. Mitch McConnell -- has made clear to several members that it wouldn't be helpful to the current Republican strategy to get onto the proposal.

Meanwhile, Congress remained hours away from a government shutdown on Friday.

Republican Majority Whip John Cornyn's spokesman denied any active whip operation, pointing to Cornyn's public statements against the bill.

"To write our office is whipping against their proposal (I haven't seen a bill, have you?) is factually inaccurate. It could not be further from the truth," the spokesman said in an email.

But sources close to the process say the pressure does exist.

Durbin and Graham have managed to lock up four Republicans -- Sens. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, Mike Rounds of South Dakota and Susan Collins of Maine -- in addition to the three Republicans that made up half of the "gang" to support the proposal so far -- still four votes short of enough to muster the 60-vote threshold needed to advance the legislation if all Democrats join in. It still has not been introduced in legislative text form, but a description of the pieces of the bill has been made public.

President Donald Trump last week rejected the proposal, in vulgar terms, in an Oval Office meeting where it was presented to him.

The day before the Gang of Six unveiled their plan, Graham, Flake and Durbin were visibly working the Senate floor during a long FISA cloture vote. The three of them spoke at separate times with Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee, for example, who voted for immigration reform before.

Asked if anyone was trying to undermine their efforts on the bill on Thursday, Republican Sen. Cory Gardner of Colorado, himself a member of the GOP leadership, denied activity to tank a deal.

"I think there are probably people on the left and right who don't want a solution; I don't feel that anybody is actively working against a solution," Gardner told reporters.

Graham and Cornyn have landed publicly on different sides of the issue. Asked about Cornyn's assertion there would not be a short-term continuing resolution of a few days on Thursday, Graham replied: "Well then you need to tell Sen. Cornyn, I respect him a lot, but he needs to get 60 votes. Good luck."

Government funding runs out at midnight on Friday and the Senate does not appear to have the votes for a House-passed continuing resolution into mid-February.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 4038

Reported Deaths: 148
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Multnomah109358
Marion92025
Washington70317
Clackamas30010
Deschutes1200
Linn1159
Umatilla1123
Polk9810
Lane672
Yamhill677
Jackson650
Benton555
Clatsop450
Klamath410
Coos310
Malheur280
Douglas250
Josephine251
Jefferson240
Wasco201
Columbia160
Hood River130
Morrow120
Lincoln110
Curry60
Union60
Tillamook60
Crook60
Wallowa20
Lake20
Sherman10
Harney10
Grant10
Baker10
Unassigned00
Eugene
Few Clouds
81° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 54°
Feels Like: 81°
Corvallis
Clear
81° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 81°
Roseburg
Clear
83° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 83°
North Bend
Clear
64° wxIcon
Hi: 63° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 64°
KEZI Radar
KEZI Temperatures
KEZI Planner

LATEST FORECAST

Community Events