Dem Senator Shoots Down Trump's Compromise Even Though He Recently Supported Similar Plan


Sen. Dick Durbin, the Illinois liberal stalwart and Senate minority whip, wants you to know he puts no stock in President Donald Trump’s plan to end the stalemate by providing protections to Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipients and other concessions on immigration in return for border funding.

“First, President Trump and Senate Majority Leader McConnell must open the government today,” Durbin said in a statement after the president’s speech on Saturday, in which the president said he would give a three-year protection for DACA recipients put in danger of deportation by Trump’s decision last year to end the Obama-era program.

“Second, I cannot support the proposed offer as reported and do not believe it can pass the Senate.

“Third, I am ready to sit down at any time after the government is open and work to resolve all outstanding issues.”

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For most people who are paying only desultory attention to the government shutdown impasse, this statement might not come as too much of a surprise.

After all, the Democrats have been, with several exceptions, rather in lockstep over the shutdown. Open the government and then we’ll talk about the wall, they say, which we’ve promised never to give you a dollar for but, hey, let’s talk. After you open the government, of course.

However, those with a keener memory might recall that Durbin was one of the co-sponsors of a billthatwould have done virtually everything that the president offered — albeit without the prospect of border security — all the way back in 2016 called the Bridge Act.

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The other co-sponsor was South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham — who, as The Daily Caller points out, has raised the possibility of DACA being a part of a negotiated settlement to end the border funding shutdown.

The Bridge Act was proposed after Trump’s election in 2016 when it became clear that he was considering repealing DACA, a program which had been put into effect by presidential fiat and hadn’t involved consulting Congress.

“In my view, the (executive action) issued by President Obama was unconstitutional and President-elect Trump would be right to repeal it,” Graham said in a December 2016 statement, according to a Politico report from the time.

“However, I do not believe we should pull the rug out and push these young men and women — who came out of the shadows and registered with the federal government — back into the darkness.”

According to Politico’s report, the Bridge Act would have done essentially what Donald Trump laid out on Saturday. It would have given three-year reprieves for those under the DACA program if the Trump administration ended the program. Durbin was totally on board with this.

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“I can’t go anywhere where I’m not approached by someone who raises this issue, either personally or religious,” Durbin said at the time. “We wanted to move on it quickly.”

Durbin supported exactly what the president is offering now just two-and-a-half years ago.

What’s different is that it’s currently attached to border security funding and negotiations over the partial shutdown.

With that in mind, Durbin has made it clear he’s not even going to consider it — at least not until the government is reopened, at which point it becomes rather moot.

Washington is a town of tradeoffs and negotiations, but what one is willing to trade for another thing is indicative of his priorities. In this case, Sen. Durbin doesn’t believe that enacting the Bridge Act — a bill that was a long-shot when it was proposed back in 2016, it must be noted — is worth it if he has to pay for physical border security and hand Donald Trump any modicum of a victory.

Even for a Democrat in the age of #Resistance, the hypocrisy is shocking.

If those are his priorities, how can anyone say Sen. Durbin wants either DACA recipients or American citizens protected?

This is why the Democrats now own the shutdown. They refuse to negotiate, even when given things they’ve been clamoring for. They refuse to even talk about a wall, even when they’ve approved wall funding in the past.

How can anyone take this lot seriously?

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Morristown, New Jersey
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture