BREAKING NEWS : Fort Wayne Police searching for missing 12-year-old boy Full Story

Senators fume after immigration bill failure

It was supposed to be a raucous, week-long, open floor debate on immigration -- the President's signature issue and s...

Posted: Feb 16, 2018 11:51 AM
Updated: Feb 16, 2018 11:52 AM

It was supposed to be a raucous, week-long, open floor debate on immigration -- the President's signature issue and such a contentious topic that Democrats shut the government down over it just a month ago.

Instead, it was the incredible shrinking immigration debate, which lasted roughly one hour on the floor and ended without a single amendment passing to protect DACA recipients or send a cent of funding for President Donald Trump's border wall.

"I'm ready to move on," said Louisiana Republican Sen. John Kennedy. "We wasted a whole week here. And I'm ready to move on. There are other issues in front of us."

Fingers were pointed in all directions as members retreated from the floor, defeated, frustrated and downright mad that after weeks of negotiations, the best chance they had to broker a deal ended without any resolution for a population everyone agreed they had wanted to help.

A group of bipartisan lawmakers -- the same group responsible for helping end a government shutdown weeks before -- fumed at the White House's treatment of their proposal, which they argued could have inched toward passage, had the White House stayed on the sidelines rather than actively lobbied against them.

On the floor of the Senate, Sen. Susan Collins, a moderate Republican from Maine, was frustrated that the amendment her group had brokered without Sen. Chuck Schumer, the Democratic leader, was being referred to as the Schumer amendment. The name undermined the entire point of her group's efforts: that it had been reached by the middle, not by party leaders. Collins could be heard telling colleagues that the move was "so wrong."

Sen. Mike Rounds, a Republican from South Dakota, acknowledged "there were a few games being played."

"You don't forget 'em, but you just roll with them," Rounds said.

Just hours after senators had reached an agreement on a plan that provided a path to citizenship for DACA recipients in exchange for $25 billion in border security, the administration began their effort to undermine the amendment. President Donald Trump issued a veto threat. And in a briefing call with reporters Thursday, two administration officials, one of them a White House official, called the bill "outrageous" and "irresponsible," and argued it would "put many innocent lives at risk."

"The bill is so spectacularly poorly drafted, I mean unless you imagine it was drafted for the purpose of gutting immigration enforcement," the White House official said, before the officials criticized Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, who fought back.

"I could care less about what an anonymous White House official says. I'm looking for leadership from the White House, not demagoguery," Graham told reporters.

Sen. Chris Coons, a Democrat from Delaware, said he blamed the White House "a great deal."

"It is striking to me that the White House and the Department of Homeland security actively and aggressively campaigned against the McCain-Coons bill and the bipartisan Rounds-King bill and yet both of those bills got more votes significantly then the White House- initiated Grassley bill," Coons said.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski, a Republican from Alaska, lamented that the White House had missed an opportunity.

"I fear that you've got some within the White House that have not yet figured out that legislation almost by its very definition is a compromise product and compromise doesn't mean getting four Republicans together and figuring out what it is that those four agree on, it is broader," she said.

GOP efforts to kill amendment

Sen. Tom Cotton, an Arkansas Republican, called the bipartisan bill the "olly olly oxen free amendment."

In the end, the bipartisan proposal was short six votes it needed, but did far better than the White House-backed plan, which only got 39 votes.

And it wasn't just Republican opposition that stopped the bipartisan proposal. Three Democrats also voted against the proposal. But Democrats and Republicans in the middle believed the White House's efforts had given senators on the fence little political cover to support their proposal.

With just weeks to go until the original March 5 deadline and a week of recess ahead, members acknowledged there was little time left to find a breakthrough now.

Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn, the majority whip, told reporters after the failed amendment votes that he does not see the issue of immigration being raised again soon.

"I don't see it. We couldn't get it together this week. We've got other things we have to do, which are pressing. The Majority Leader's (Mitch McConnell) the one who sets the agenda. We need to get some things done: nominations, other bipartisan legislation. If I were him, I'd be reluctant to spend another week of wasted time."

He continued, "I thought the deadline and I thought the empathy that people have for these young people would be enough to change the outcome here, but apparently not yet."

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 749097

Reported Deaths: 13745
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1030271775
Lake554211006
Allen41613691
St. Joseph36933564
Hamilton36505416
Elkhart29347459
Tippecanoe22849225
Vanderburgh22540400
Porter19313325
Johnson18386387
Hendricks17583317
Clark13190193
Madison13111344
Vigo12602253
LaPorte12385221
Monroe12152175
Delaware10947197
Howard10250225
Kosciusko9609119
Hancock8541144
Bartholomew8158157
Warrick7854156
Floyd7763180
Grant7227179
Wayne7154201
Boone6911103
Morgan6735141
Dubois6211118
Marshall6205116
Cass5989108
Henry5893108
Dearborn588878
Noble579786
Jackson508374
Shelby500697
Lawrence4727121
Gibson444093
Harrison440473
Clinton439855
DeKalb438585
Montgomery433890
Whitley405642
Huntington402181
Steuben398659
Miami392568
Jasper386254
Knox375690
Putnam371860
Wabash360583
Ripley346470
Adams344955
Jefferson335685
White329753
Daviess3028100
Wells294881
Decatur289992
Greene286385
Fayette284664
Posey273735
LaGrange272872
Scott269855
Clay265448
Randolph244683
Washington244534
Jennings235149
Spencer234131
Starke227558
Fountain218347
Sullivan213943
Owen210858
Fulton201542
Jay200832
Carroll193420
Orange188055
Perry186937
Rush175626
Vermillion173544
Franklin170135
Tipton165746
Parke148916
Pike137934
Blackford136032
Pulaski120047
Newton112636
Brown103943
Crawford102316
Benton100814
Martin91415
Warren83515
Switzerland8098
Union72810
Ohio57811
Unassigned0421

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1107047

Reported Deaths: 20091
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1284921459
Cuyahoga1155972204
Hamilton812991245
Montgomery524821040
Summit48339999
Lucas43303817
Butler38901603
Stark33286929
Lorain25641502
Warren24557303
Mahoning22330601
Lake21135385
Clermont20097252
Delaware18817135
Licking16645222
Fairfield16561204
Trumbull16522479
Medina15593270
Greene15252246
Clark14219306
Wood13280197
Portage13226214
Allen11905239
Richland11598211
Miami10835223
Wayne9116222
Columbiana9020230
Muskingum8889135
Pickaway8649122
Marion8635138
Tuscarawas8633247
Erie8052164
Ashtabula7137179
Hancock6996131
Ross6933161
Geauga6832150
Scioto6528104
Belmont6149174
Union583849
Lawrence5722102
Jefferson5669158
Huron5539122
Sandusky5436125
Darke5415129
Seneca5343126
Washington5308109
Athens523360
Auglaize501587
Mercer487385
Shelby476195
Knox4567112
Madison443765
Ashland435197
Putnam4333103
Fulton431871
Defiance431798
Crawford4033110
Brown401961
Logan387277
Preble3847103
Clinton378466
Ottawa372681
Highland359265
Williams347578
Champaign343658
Guernsey324153
Jackson317354
Perry297150
Morrow291340
Fayette285450
Hardin274865
Henry273267
Holmes2698101
Coshocton268359
Van Wert247264
Adams242856
Pike242735
Gallia240450
Wyandot234556
Hocking220162
Carroll196748
Paulding176342
Meigs148240
Monroe136144
Noble135839
Harrison113638
Morgan109624
Vinton85417
Unassigned03
Fort Wayne
Partly Cloudy
62° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 62°
Angola
Clear
59° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 59°
Huntington
Partly Cloudy
64° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 64°
Decatur
Clear
62° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 62°
Van Wert
Partly Cloudy
62° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 62°
Tuesday is another mostly sunny and comfortable day with a small chance of a stray afternoon shower or sprinkle.
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events