Punt on DACA
The White House is preparing to announce the end — in six months — of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
The elongated finale, with the makings of a tension-building climax befitting a television show’s final season, effectively puts the onus on Congress to come up with a fix to protect the 800,000 so-called “Dreamers” here in the United States.
The official announcement from President Donald Trump is expected to come Tuesday. But the backlash has been largely furious.
New York’s Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman say they’ll sue the federal government if Trump ends DACA, report Newsday’s Scott Eidler and Víctor Manuel Ramos.
Top Trump de facto psychoanalyst and New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman says the president doesn’t want to end DACA, despite his campaign pledge to do just that.
But he was persuaded to do so by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who argued that immigration policy should be set by the legislative branch and not the executive branch.
No pleasing some folks
Some immigration hard-liners aren’t happy with the six-month delay, however. Republican Rep. Steve King of Iowa tweeted that it opens the pathway for an “amnesty” cut by Republican leadership.
“Ending DACA now gives chance 2 restore Rule of Law. Delaying so R Leadership can push Amnesty is Republican suicide,” he tweeted.
Arkansas Republican Sen. Tom Cotton, whom the conservative Washington Examiner describes as the Senate’s top immigration hawk, says he would support giving green cards to DACA recipients as part of a bigger deal.
But a reminder: Congress already has a jam-packed schedule, with must-dos like raising the debt ceiling and passing Hurricane Harvey aid on its schedule, plus other top priorities like tackling tax reform.
UN eyes North Korea sanctions
U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley on Monday said North Korea’s actions show that its leader, Kim Jong Un, is “begging for war,” and the time has come for the council to adopt the strongest diplomatic measures.
UN Security Council members called for further sanctions following what North Korea says is its detonation Sunday of a miniaturized a hydrogen bomb that can fit atop an intercontinental ballistic missile.
The 401(k) tax blues?
Details of the Republican tax reform bill are finally emerging.
Politico reports that the so-called “Big Six” negotiators have broad consensus on the outlines. One idea “quietly” being discussed to offset cuts to corporate and individual tax rates:
“Taxing the money that workers place into their 401(k) savings plans up front: an idea that would raise billions of dollars in the short-term.”
What else is happening
- Republican leaders are banking on Trump to negotiate a clean debt limit increase without spending cuts to avoid an Oct. 1 government shutdown, Politico reports.
- The question lingers whether the government will disclose more about a cooperating federal witness with past business associations with the Trump organization, journalists Daniel Wise and Russ W. Baker have suggested.
- Trump friends worry about the effect the departure of his longtime bodyguard will have on the president’s psyche, Axios reports.
- Trump’s brand in the Middle East has been buoyed by his visit to the region, Reuters reports.
- Former President Barack Obama is expected to speak out against overturning DACA, via a Facebook statement.
- Obama’s handwritten letter to Trump has been revealed.