President Donald Trump rejected a pitch Thursday from a bipartisan team of senators on a compromise immigration deal to protect “Dreamers” while increasing border security.
Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin and Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham met with Trump to discuss a compromise plan from a small group of six senators, but were rebuffed and told to keep working, Durbin said.
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said Thursday afternoon: “There has not been a deal reached yet.”
The setback comes as the January 19 deadline for reaching agreement on government spending is rapidly approaching and the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program is set to end in early March.
“I’m not sure what the next step will be,” Durbin told reporters. “The President invited us to — at his little get-together in the Cabinet room — to come up with proposals, and we did. It’s a bipartisan proposal which we’ve worked on for four months in the Senate, and I don’t know what happens next.”
Republican Sens. Tom Cotton and David Perdue and Republican Reps. Bob Goodlatte and Kevin McCarthy were also at the Trump meeting. The four GOP lawmakers pushed back at the Durbin and Graham proposal, and Trump said to keep working, Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn told reporters.
“Hopefully they’ll contribute their ideas to the solution but … six people can’t agree to something that will bind Congress and the House,” Cornyn said.
Asked what it would take to bring something to the floor — Cornyn said it would take the “four pillars” and “something that the President would sign.”
“We’re going to have — more than a signal — we’re going to have a very clear message this is something he’d support, that he’d sign.”
Cornyn said he’s not trying to slow things down and he’d be willing to keep meeting twice a day but the gang of six won’t be enough on its own.
“I think the message has now been delivered that we need to get everybody at the table and we’ll take the best of their ideas,” Cornyn said.