Below are some highlights from the reaction to Trump’s Saturday theatrics.
Pelosi rejected the deal, which Democrats were not consulted about, before Trump had even started speaking:
Democrats were hopeful that the president was finally willing to reopen government and proceed with a much-need discussion to protect the border. Unfortunately, initial reports make clear that his proposal is a compilation of several previously rejected initiatives, each of which is unacceptable and in total, do not represent a good faith effort to restore certainty to people’s lives. It is unlikely that any one of these provisions alone would pass the House, and taken together, they are a non-starter.
As did a key would-be Democratic compromiser on the issue, per CNN’s Ryan Nobles:
[Senator Dick Durbin], who co-authored the [bipartisan] BRIDGE Act which is said to be part of the POTUS proposal to end the shutdown, says he “cannot support the proposed offer as reported”
The proposal wasn’t the BRIDGE Act, either. Vox’s Dara Lind, like many others, had some deja vu:
The stuff Trump is talking about right now is pretty much verbatim the stuff offered in the last version of a proposal, sent as a letter 2 weeks ago, plus a legislative extension of existing DACA and TPS protections.
The Post’s Matt Viser notes some rhetorical whiplash, too:
“The radical left can never control our borders. I will never let it happen. Walls are not immoral,” President Trump says, minutes after calling for both sides to work together for common compromise.
Meanwhile, Mitch McConnell is riding in on a hypocritical high horse, per CNN’s Manu Raju:
McConnell, who has said repeatedly only bills with support of Trump and Democrats can end shutdown, says he will hold vote on Trump proposal — even though Dems are rejecting it. “Everyone has made their point—now it’s time to make a law. I intend to move to this legislation this week”
Speaking of non-starters, immigration advocate Frank Sharry decodes another part of Trump’s remarks which will repel Democrats:
Trump’s “asylum reforms” riff is code for denying due process for unaccompanied minors and eviscerating [the] Flores Settlement. Means that kids who now get protection will get sent back to face death and kids will be detained for as long as Trump wants.
The Atlantic’s Ronald Brownstein highlights Trump’s dizzying logic, since he was the one to cancel DACA and TPS in the first place:
Isn’t this a kind of hostage-taking squared? First end the programs. Then shut the government. Then promise to temporarily restore the programs you’ve ended & reopen the government you have closed, in return for the ransom of money for a wall that 55-60% of country consistently opposes?
And the Post’s Glenn Kessler points out a glaring political fail:
Unless I missed it, Trump expressed no sympathy for federal workers who are furloughed or working without pay.
On cue, several Republican lawmakers were in their foxholes claiming that Trump is now the reasonable one. But CNN’s Eliana Johnson reported that White House staffers were nervous about today:
[I’m told] there’s increasing nervousness inside the White House that Trump’s gambit will fail with Dems, which seems clear at this point — but also that it will hurt him with his base, which has supported him thru shutdown.
Sure enough, Ann Coulter is not amused:
Trump proposes amnesty. We voted for Trump and got Jeb!
Nor are immigration hawks, per Politico’s Gabby Orr, who offers a key refresher as well:
The pile-on begins and it’s not just from Dems. NumbersUSA head Roy Beck calls Trump’s proposal “a loser for the forgotten American workers who were central to his campaign promises.”
The last time Trump faced intense criticism from the immigration hawks in his base — when he was prepared to sign a clean CR — he did a 180 & triggered the shutdown. Its hard to picture him backing away a 2nd time (no guarantee he will) without jeopardizing their support.
So what was it all about? An attempt at shutdown leverage while federal workers suffer. Note the White House followup to the speech, as reported by PBS’ Yamiche Alcindor:
[White House Chief of Staff] Mick Mulvaney is blaming Democrats if [federal workers] don’t get paid next week: “If the bill is filibustered on Tuesday, and we do not get a motion to proceed, people will not get paid. I will be very curious to see how the Democrats — especially in the Senate — choose to deal w/ this piece of legislation.”