President Trump blasted a bipartisan immigration deal in the Senate Thursday, moments before lawmakers prepared to vote, writing on Twitter that passing the proposal would be a “total catastrophe.”
Trump’s harsh criticism of the bill backed by Republicans and Democrats marks a hardening of his immigration position. Just last month, Trump had said he would take the “heat” for a compromise and sign whatever Congress sent him. White House officials said earlier Thursday that Trump would veto the bipartisan bill if it made it to his desk.
The immigration deal was crafted over several weeks by a group of 16 senators — Republicans, Democrats and one independent — and would protect so-called Dreamers from deportation in exchange for $25 billion for border security.
President Trump on Thursday threatened to veto a bipartisan Senate immigration plan, all but ensuring the collapse of an effort to protect Dreamers from deportation in exchange for $25 billion for border security.
The veto threat is the first of Trump's presidency, a bold move against an effort that had been painstakingly crafted by a group of 16 senators, Republicans and Democrats, working weeks behind closed doors on a consensus.
Even as a bipartisan team in the Senate worked on a compromise bill to protect so-called Dreamers, the proposal came under an unusually sharp partisan attack by the federal departments that enforce immigration law.
In a statement issued before dawn Thursday, the Department of Homeland Security blasted the bipartisan deal in apocalyptic terms, saying “it would be the end of immigration enforcement in America.”
The proposal, which would include protections for Dreamers and $25 billion for a border wall and other security measures, “would effectively make the United States a Sanctuary Nation where ignoring the rule of law is encouraged,” the statement said.
President Trump urged Americans to embrace the “dignity of life” in the wake of the deadly school shooting in south Florida on Thursday but sidestepped the idea of amending gun laws to stem the nation’s epidemic of mass shootings.
In a somber address to the nation from the White House, Trump urged listeners to “answer hate with love, answer cruelty with kindness.”
Trump said he would visit Parkland soon. He ignored a reporter who shouted, "Will you do something about guns?”
Mitt Romney postponed the expected launch of his campaign for U.S. Senate on Wednesday as a result of the Florida school shooting that left 17 people dead.
Romney had planned to announce his candidacy in a video scheduled for release Thursday morning, followed by a speech Friday night at the Utah County Republican Party's annual fundraising dinner in Provo.
Romney is still expected to attend the dinner Friday night.
The day after President Trump’s top intelligence advisor warned that Russian hackers will be back with a vengeance in the upcoming midterm election, House Democrats intensified their push to shore up the nation’s network of wheezing voting machines that are vulnerable to attack.
The Democrats released a voluminous report detailing the many ways in which election systems are ripe to breached, and the 2016 incidents in which at least one state’s voter registration files were penetrated and 20 others were targeted for various forms of cyberattack.
Election officials and many lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are growing increasingly alarmed by how vulnerable their voting systems are. Many are still using machines that are easily hacked, and they have no money to fix them. Congress has so far balked at approving any of the bipartisan measures that address the problem, such as the Secure Elections Act championed by Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) and others.
President Trump broke his weeklong silence on spousal abuse Wednesday, but only after declaring that everyone already knows his view on the subject.
“I am totally opposed to domestic violence of any kind,” Trump said, according to a pool report by Newsday reporter Laura Figueroa. “Everyone knows that and it almost wouldn’t even have to be said.”
It wasn’t said, for more than a week, as his White House has reeled from the resignations of two high-ranking officials accused of violence against former partners. The women told their stories months ago to FBI investigators conducting background checks on White House aides Rob Porter and David Sorenson, but the men did not leave the White House staff until the accounts went public.