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Sen. Blumenthal: Skeptical About McConnell's Promises on DACA

Image: Sen. Blumenthal: Skeptical About McConnell's Promises on DACA
(AP)

By    |   Tuesday, 23 January 2018 11:11 AM

Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal told CNN’s "New Day" on Tuesday that he is skeptical about the promises Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made regarding DACA legislation in order to end the government shutdown.

When asked why his Democratic colleagues trusted McConnell just days after his words on the issue were not enough to prevent the shutdown, the Connecticut senator said that "To have this promise made on the floor of the Senate, even though I'm skeptical about it, they're more optimistic, I think is a very public commitment."

Blumenthal, who voted against ending the shutdown, said he will be "holding the speaker, the majority leader, accountable. We're all going to be negotiating on a bipartisan basis and hoping that we not only provide protection for the dreamers and a path to citizenship but also funding the military and nonmilitary needs."

The Democratic senator said that much of his skepticism stems from the fact even if the Senate passes legislation on the dreamers, "It fails to guarantee a vote in the House or approval by the White House. And I lived through the 2013 comprehensive immigration reform… It passed overwhelmingly in the Senate by 68 votes. And then the House never even voted on it."

Asked if he thought Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer caved by ending the shutdown, Blumenthal said that "Schumer took the best course and a responsible one that he could, and I'm more interested in who's hurt than who's blamed. I'm more skeptical about the majority leader's promise, but we're united in the goals that we have, and Senator Schumer has been very admirable and responsible in leading our caucus."

When pressed if he thought the shutdown backfired for the Democrats, Blumenthal stressed that "The promise by the majority leader is very important. And the principle that was established that we believe that the dreamers deserve this protection, I think, highlighted it for the whole nation. The nation now, a vast majority, is in favor of providing the dreamers with a path to citizenship. They're aware of the plight of these young children here brought through no choice of their own."

Regarding President Donald Trump’s insistence on funding for his border wall in order to get a deal, Blumenthal said that "A border wall is a waste of money, squandering millions of dollars… There are ways we can strengthen the fencing that exists and maybe extend it. If the Mexicans are not going to pay for the border wall as Donald Trump promised, we won't support it in the way he has proposed."

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Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal told CNN's "New Day" on Tuesday that he is skeptical about the promises Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made regarding DACA legislation in order to end the government shutdown.
blumenthal, daca, mcconnell
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2018-11-23
Tuesday, 23 January 2018 11:11 AM
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