President Donald Trump sees himself as a great leader and dealmaker, but his inability to compromise tells a different story — and it may lead to his party losing control of Congress after the midterm elections. If that happens then the president’s unyielding adherence to his ill-conceived conservative principles on immigration may lead to the end of his controversial presidency.
Last week, during an interview on Fox News Trump said he would veto any bill passed by Congress to extend the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program unless it includes funding for the wall at the U.S.-Mexico border which was his #1 campaign promise to his supporters.
“Unless it improves a wall – and I mean a wall, a real wall – and unless it improves very strong border security, there’ll be no approvals from me, because I have to either approve it or not,” Trump said on Fox.
But his veto threats, while attempting to force Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan to accept his views on immigration, may be causing nothing but headaches and leading the GOP down a path of disunion and defeat.
The problem is that these GOP leaders of Congress, especially Speaker of the House Ryan, are facing rebellions from within their own ranks. For a party that has a razor-thin majority hold in Congress, such intra-party conflicts and rebellions may spell disaster.
Ryan, who is a lame duck Speaker, is reportedly attempting to put together a compromise deal that will satisfy the warring factions of his own party. “Centrist” Republicans — especially those representing moderate congressional districts — do not want to follow the president’s hard line immigration policies. They believe that either failing to extend DACA or funding the wall will cause them to go down to defeat in November.
These centrists are looking at ways to work with Democrats to get a bill passed that they will like, but which would be hated by Trump and the right-wingers in the House.
They are actually threatening Ryan, saying they will force action on the House floor to protect young undocumented immigrants. Within the GOP there is absolutely no agreement on what legal protections should be extended to people living in the country illegally.
The centrists need just 218 signatures to force a vote on DACA but immigration hardliners said they will strongly oppose a bill to give “amnesty” to the undocumented residents in the United States.
The wishy-washy Ryan, however, had only this to say about the dilemma that he faces: “What we’re trying to do is find where the consensus sweet spot is. Immigration is an issue that has a lot of passionate positions.”
By stating the obvious but proposing no real solution, the soon-to-be-departed Ryan may be dooming his own party to defeat in November. If that happens it would be a well-deserved outcome for the GOP Speaker who may critics have accused of lacking a spine.
I am a lifelong Democrat with a passion for social justice and progressive issues. I have degrees in writing, economics and law from the University of Iowa.