Senator Lindsey Graham isn’t pulling punches anymore when it comes to the stalled negotiations fueling the government shutdown.
The crux of the issue is immigration: Democrats won’t leave DACA and the Dreamers on the table, and Trump seems married to funding for the wall.
But Graham revealed what’s really going on here: White House staffers are undermining anything approaching a compromise. Specifically, it’s immigration hardliner and noted right wing extremist Stephen Miller who is making a compromise seem impossible.
The former staffer for Attorney General Jeff Sessions is famous for his opposition to anything resembling a bipartisan approach to immigration.
And given the fact that Trump’s whims change with the winds, he’s just as likely to contradict himself at any given moment as anyone else. So having oppositional White House staffers in the mix only serves to undermine the negotiation process.
The government remains in shutdown mode since midnight on Friday. Republicans and Democrats failed to come together to pass a continuing resolution to keep the government funded and open for business.
Democrats are sticking to their guns and rejecting all deals that don’t include provisions protecting the Dreamers. Republicans are using children in a nasty move that pits recipients of healthcare under CHIP against 800,000 young people living and working in this country with undocumented status after being brought across the border by their parents as children.
Stephen Miller’s outlier status, according to Graham, virtually ensures that there’s no end in sight. His extreme views don’t belong anywhere near the negotiating table, where it’s crucial to make concessions and hear the other side’s point of view in order to come to an agreement. Until Trump wises up and gets this guy out of there, we’re in for a long haul.