Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., said Tuesday that if Congress fails to legislate a new program to give Dreamers a path to citizenship, the blame will fall on the Democrats.
"No question," Cotton said on Hugh Hewitt's radio show when asked if it would be the Democrats' fault if Congress fails. "If they refuse to take yes for an answer, then they have no one to blame but themselves."
Cotton said many Democrats fear the trade-off proposed by President Trump — a path to citizenship for 1.8 million Dreamers, in return for a border wall and an end to family chain migration and the diversity visa lottery. But he said Democrats in the Senate facing a tough re-election seem to understand that it might make sense to take Trump's deal.
"The ones who are up for re-election this year in states Donald Trump won get it," he said. "That's one reason why the Democrats are working overtime to try to prevent votes on these bills."
Cotton said it's not clear if a bill he helped introduce, which matches Trump's demands, can advance this week with 60 votes. But he said it's possible Democrats that are not in the Senate leadership might be able to support it.
"We don't need the leadership and the most extreme voices in the Democratic Party to support the president's framework," he said. "We need 10 to 15 Democrats."
He also said the only bill that has a chance to be signed into law is a bill reflecting Trump's plan.
"It's either the president's framework bill, or it's nothing," he said.
Trump has set a March 5 deadline for Congress to pass legislation implementing a new Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, after Trump rescinded DACA last year.