The massive $1.3 trillion spending bill passed by the House Thursday afternoon includes a “really, really good immigration package,” but falls short on providing a fix for the Deferred Action and Childhood Arrivals program, Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney said Thursday afternoon.
“Did we get everything that we wanted when it comes to immigration? Absolutely not. Did we get a DACA fix? No,” Mulvaney said during a briefing on spending bill. “Let’s make it clear, the president wanted a DACA fix as part of this deal. He had offered a large package with a complete DACA fix in exchange for the entire [border] wall. He offered a small package — three years’ worth of a DACA fix in exchange for three years’ worth of a wall."
Despite last-ditch efforts to append a DACA plan to the spending deal and signs that the White House was open to some sort of compromise, Democrats and Republicans were unable to reach an agreement.
“The Democrats in the House and Senate have made it clear they think they’re winning in the courts and they do not want to fix this legislatively,” Mulvaney added. “We’ve reached out to them again and again to try to fix DACA, and they refuse to engage on the topic.”
The lack of DACA’s inclusion in the spending deal leaves nearly 700,000 immigrants covered by the program in legal limbo, with no surefire sign that a deal will be reached anytime soon.
But Mulvaney maintained that overall, the spending deal still bodes well for the administration’s immigration priorities.
“There’s some other things we asked for that we did not get,” Mulvaney said. “There’s some limitations on [the Department of Homeland Security] that Congress put in the bill that we don’t particularly care for. But, generally speaking, we think this is a really, really good immigration package.”