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President throws ‘new wrinkle’ by siding with Democrats

President Donald Trump threw a new wrinkle into things recently when he sided with Democrats on their plan to raise the debt ceiling, enact continuing resolutions to keep the government open and approve the first installment of aid for Hurricane Harvey.

The president has been pretty hard on Democrats with his tweets so his action probably surprised a lot of people, including me. But I think it could be a good thing.

If much is going to be accomplished by Congress it will probably take some Democratic votes, since some on the
Republican side are so conservative even other Republicans can’t support their agenda on some issues.

In the Senate with a two-vote margin for financial issues, there is no room for many Republicans to vote against a proposal as Mr. Trump discovered on the Senate’s version of the health care bill. And in the House the margin is not so great that much can be done should members of the Freedom Caucus, which numbers around 30 House members, decide to oppose it.

That kind of sets the stage for gridlock, where a handful of people can’t get their agenda done, but they can stop anybody else’s agenda, unless people start to work across party lines.

I don’t expect Republicans and Democrats to agree on everything but they certainly should be able find common ground on many issues and get them resolved. There is plenty to do. If both sides can understand they have to give a little to get a little, maybe we can get some things back on track.

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I certainly hope that Congress can figure out the DACA issue. These are kids who were brought here by their parents as children and it seems a little cruel to call them lawbreakers.

If a parent handed a child some illegal drug and a police officer saw it would he arrest the child and would the child be sent to prison? No, that wouldn’t happen. So I have a hard time seeing how it is the child’s fault when their parents brought them here.

Sending those people back to their country of origin, where they know nothing of life there since they were raised in the United States, would be cruel. Would you want to be sent back to England, Germany or Scandinavia where you didn’t know the system, had no job, little or no money and maybe didn’t even know the language? I would guess not.

Most of what I have read indicates that those affected by DACA, called Dreamers, are educated, speak English, have jobs, some own businesses and more. They work and pay taxes because they are able to get work permits, something that goes away if DACA is repealed. They are not lawbreakers (other than being here), if they were they would not be able to qualify for DACA.

We’re talking about 800,000 people here, not a small number.

Those opposed to DACA contend that President Barack Obama exceeded his authority when he made DACA the law with an executive order. Obama acted because Congress wouldn’t. He’s not the first president to seek some legalization program for some illegal immigrants, President George W. Bush did, too, but Congress couldn’t agree on anything.

So, maybe President Trump did the right thing by tossing this back to Congress. It is Congress from which a permanent resolution must be found.  Otherwise if presidents just keep rolling it along by executive order it can be ended at the whim of any president.

It seems there is a mix of Republicans and Democrats in favor of keeping DACA and providing a path to citizenship. Whether there is enough of them remains to be seen and whether Congressional leadership thinks this is important enough to put on the agenda also remains to be seen.

So, we’ll get to see over the next six months or so if President Trump’s move with the Democrats pays off in future legislation or if we move back to the same old bickering stalemate.

 
The Starbuck Times
The Starbuck Times