Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul wants Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to promise Minority Leader Chuck Schumer he’ll get a week’s debate and a vote on an immigration bill soon in order to end the government shutdown.
Paul said on CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday the shutdown is just “gamesmanship and partisanship.”
“I gave them the answer how you solve this today: Promise, guarantee in writing to the Democrats that there will be one week's debate on immigration and a vote on an immigration bill some time in the next month in the House and the Senate,” Paul said.
“Now when I presented this to those in the Senate, Sen. Durbin, they were like, 'Oh, no we want guaranteed passage on a must-pass bill.' Nobody gets a guaranteed passage.”
Paul said “that’s a reasonable ask and something we could do,” but he thinks Democrats are letting the perfect deal be the enemy of a good deal.
The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, is slated to end of March 5. When that program ends, about 800,000 people who were brought to the United States illegally as children by their parents would no longer have federal protection and be allowed to stay in the country.
Paul said it’s time to simply vote and do the job of legislating in order to end the shutdown.
“I'd say let's vote on it. Put it forward and vote on it. The impasse could end today if Republicans would promise just to have a week of immigration votes, have a conclusion, let us all put forward amendments,” he said. “The American people would like to see us hash out our differences through amendments and votes.”
As for what would happen when a bill that passes Congress goes to the White House, Paul said he’s sure President Trump would sign anything Congress sends him.
“I guarantee you, if you send to the president an immigration bill that passes the House and Senate, there's no way in the world he's vetoing that,” he said.