Sunday , March 18 2018

Trump’s willingness to deal on immigration gives talks urgency

epa06427324 US President Donald J. Trump (C), with US Democratic Representative from Maryland Steny Hoyer (R) and Democratic Senator from Illinois Dick Durbin (L), participates in a meeting on immigration with bipartisan members of the House and Senate in the Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington, DC, USA, 09 January 2018.  EPA-EFE/SHAWN THEW


Congressional Republicans got the green light from President Donald Trump to negotiate an immigration deal with Democrats, potentially clearing a stalemate that’s stalled action on multiple issues, including funding to keep the government from shutting down next week.
During an unusual public meeting with bipartisan members of Congress at the White House, Trump offered a broad outline for an agreement while also giving cover for any Republicans worried about the political cost of giving in on protection for some undocumented immigrants.
For Democrats, Trump injected a sense of urgency into what had been plodding negotiations. “There’s a path forward. There’s a deal on the table,” Senator John Thune of South Dakota, No. 3 Republican leader, said after meeting. No one will get a “perfect deal,” the senator said, “everybody wants, eventually, to get to yes.”
Despite Trump’s record as an unpredictable negotiating partner, members of both parties expressed optimism. An immigration agreement could open the way to a broad spending bill, which in turn could carry disaster relief funds, legislation stabilising Obamacare and other measures that stalled in December. Democrats have been
insisting that any immigration
compromise be part of a spending deal, which is needed to keep the government open after January 19.

Trump indicated he’s willing to split the contentious immigration issue in two. The first would be legislation to replace an Obama-era program called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, tighten border security and begin building a wall, limit family preferences for immigration and end or restricts a diversity visa lottery system. An attempt at a more comprehensive revamping of the nation’s immigration laws to resolved the status of 11 million people living in the US illegally — something that has eluded lawmakers for years — would be deferred until later. While the president’s general terms for acquiescing to Democratic demands on DACA haven’t changed, Trump suggested he wasn’t sweating the details.
“What I approve is going to be very much reliant on what the people in this room come to me with,” Trump said, sitting at a table in the Cabinet Room with almost two dozen lawmakers of both parties from the House and Senate.
For Democrats, that left enough room for negotiation. “I was encouraged by what the president said,” Senate Democratic leader Charles Schumer of New York, who was not in the meeting, said afterward, adding that the “devil is in the details.” Among those details are how extensive a border wall might be included, and how much to restrict family preferences for immigration.
Schumer said he was confident Republicans and Democrats could agree on bolstering border security.

Breitbart rift with Bannon gives Conservative rivals an opening

Breitbart News was already contending with an exodus of advertisers. Now the public face of the conservative outlet is gone, and competitors are licking
their chops.
Steve Bannon’s departure settled the immediate crisis at Breitbart, which had to decide whether to stand by its executive chairman or part ways because of his rift with President Donald Trump. But a bevy of other right-wing news and commentary providers have sprung forth to cater to Trump supporters, and the anti-establishment tone of Breitbart’s coverage may not be as titillating now that Trump is very much the establishment.
Little has been disclosed about Breitbart’s finances or other investors. The Mercer family has invested $10 million in the site, the New Yorker magazine reported. Bannon gave up his equity in Breitbart when he joined the White House, and the Mercers publicly split with him after his criti-
cism of Trump’s family surfaced this month in Michael Wolff’s book “Fire and Fury.”

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