There is a raging debate about who is responsible for the government shutdown, which has now lasted two days.
A key Republican senator, Lindsey Graham (SC), offered his opinion on Sunday afternoon: the problem is the White House staff.
Graham pointed the finger specifically at White House Senior Adviser Stephen Miller, who holds extreme views on immigration. According to Graham, any proposal offered to the president is “yanked back by staff members,” adding “[a]s long as Stephen Miller is in charge of negotiating on immigration, we are going nowhere.”
Graham: “Every time we have a proposal, it is only yanked back by staff members. As long as Stephen Miller is in charge of negotiating on immigration, we are going nowhere.”
— Igor Bobic (@igorbobic) January 21, 2018
Sen. Graham tells reporters White House staff — specifically Stephen Miller — is making immigration negotiations “difficult”
— Jordan J Frasier (@jordanjfrasier) January 21, 2018
According to Republican consultant Rick Wilson, Graham’s frustrations are shared, more quietly, by his GOP colleagues.
Sotto voce, many Republicans, particularly in the Senate, are blaming the President, and his co-President Stephen Miller. Miller’s role in placing a Semtex charge under the tenuous DACA deal at the heart of this budget frenzy is a sign of his overwhelming power in this White House. Miller’s racial obsessions with immigrants are playing out in a game of political chicken where five trains are racing toward one track in the switchyard of American politics.
Miller is championing a proposal “to radically slash legal immigration to the United States,” cutting it in half over next ten years.
On Friday, Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) offered Trump substantial concessions on funding for a wall on the southern border and believed he was making progress toward a deal. But Schumer was later called by White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, another immigration hardliner, and told the offer was not enough to interest the White House.
Another vote to potentially end the shutdown is scheduled for Monday at 1AM.