Republicans are applauding President Trump over his call for an end-of-the-year spending bill not to include a permanent fix to President Obama's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
The news came after a meeting between Trump and over a half-dozen Republican senators at the White House. Sens. John Cornyn, R-Texas, and David Perdue, R-Ga., confirmed the president's wishes and made clear that any DACA fix would have to wait until 2018.
“This should be debated on its own merit, and he also talked about that any solution to DACA has got to include ending chain migration and some features of border security, so that is a very tight window that he is laying out about what he will sign," Perdue said about Trump. "So I’m very encouraged by that.”
Republicans are working on a DACA fix bill of their own that would give recipients "legal extensions," according to Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., who was at the meeting. The GOP would also include multiple border security measures, and attempt to put an end to chain migration, which was the main goal of the RAISE Act that Perdue and Sen. Tom Cotton introduced in August.
Also on board with Trump move are members of the House Freedom Caucus. Freedom Caucus members are wary about the December spending bill but breathed a sigh of relief with the president's decision.
"That's great news," said Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, the founding member of the group. "We got to do what the American people sent us to do on immigration, and I just don't see that happening on the spending bill. Attaching DACA and something else to a spending bill — you don't want to go there."
Not all Republicans agree, however. There is still a group that believes DACA must be taken care of by the end of the year, including Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., along with Reps. Jeff Denham, R-Calif., and Mike Coffman, R-Colo.
"I think we've got to do this in a year-end spending bill," Flake said. "These kids are going to get tied down, and it's terrible for them to have to live with that kind of uncertainty. We've got to deal with it now. We shouldn't wait on it."
Democratic leadership is keeping their powder dry on the issue, and they aren't yet agreed on whether to try to hold up the spending bill over DACA. Some rank-and-file members have made public calls saying that they will not support a spending measure without a permanent fix for Dreamers in the bill, leading to talk of a potential government shutdown.
"I'm going to wait to talk to some of my ... Republican colleagues who were in the room before reacting," Schumer said during a press conference on Thursday afternoon. "I think we're all of the view that we're going to do everything we can to pass the bill, but we expect it will pass because we have a lot of Republican support for this bill, and I think it's going to do better than people think no matter what Donald Trump says on one given day or another."
Trump has said the DACA program would expire in March.