White House chief of staff: Durbin-Graham bill wasn't inclusive enough

White House chief of staff John Kelly on Wednesday defended the President's rejection last week of a bipartisan Senat...

Posted: Jan 17, 2018 8:13 PM
Updated: Jan 17, 2018 8:13 PM

White House chief of staff John Kelly on Wednesday defended the President's rejection last week of a bipartisan Senate immigration bill, saying it wasn't as inclusive as the President asked for.

Speaking to reporters in the Capitol in between four back-to-back meetings on the issue with lawmakers, Kelly declined to answer whether he and staff had misguided the President, as Sens. Dick Durbin, an Illinois Democrat, and Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican, alleged after their proposal was rejected.

The White House chief of staff criticized a bipartisan immigration bill proposed last week

John Kelly's criticism was that the the House and some key senators were not consulted

"That deal that came over was supposed to be two things: bipartisan and both sides of the Hill," Kelly said. "And it was bipartisan in the sense that there were several Democratic and Republican senators, but there were a number of other senators that had been involved in this from the beginning, (Sens. Tom) Cotton and (David) Perdue is an example, (Thom) Tillis from North Carolina, that were not consulted. And the House was not consulted at all."

Durbin and Graham crafted the bill with two other Republicans, Sens. Jeff Flake and Cory Gardner, and Democrats Sens. Michael Bennet and Robert Menendez. Tillis and Republican Sen. James Lankford had been meeting with the group but were not included in meetings after the new year over perceptions about lacking a sense of urgency. Cotton and Perdue are supporters of a hardline proposal to slash legal immigration supported by President Donald Trump.

Kelly said that in the meeting, where the President made the now-infamous "shithole countries" comment, Trump's sense was the Durbin-Graham bill "fell short."

"His sense was, two things. It fell short of certainly what he was looking for based on the Thursday conversation and other conversations," Kelly said. "But more to the point, it did not include all of the senators that have been involved in all of the discussions about DACA and certainly did not involve the House. And the President has said from the beginning, it's got to be bipartisan and unless it involves the House as well as the Senate, it's going to go down again as a bill that does not pass into law."

Kelly did not address the vulgar comments controversy, but one of the lawmakers Kelly met with, Florida Republican Rep. Carlos Curbelo, said in their moderate Republican meeting it came up "briefly" and it was acknowledged that "foul language" was used by multiple people at that meeting.

Kelly said Trump still wants a fix for the expiring Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy, saying the termination of it "intentionally" left six months before its end, "so that there could be plenty of time for the United States Congress to actually talk to each other, both sides of the aisle, both sides of the Hill, talk to the White House, which they've done, and then actually come up with a bill that will pass both houses."

Kelly indicated that the President would want to protect current DACA recipients, and Curbelo said he was "very confident" that the President would accept including a path to citizenship after his meeting.

"The President that I work for wants 700,000 or so DACA recipients, the vast majority of whom are now adults, to have a way to stay in the United States legally," Kelly said. "He wants that. That's a given. But what we cannot have is a unprotected, unsecured southwest border that five, six, seven years from now, we have another group of 600 or 700,000 DACA people."

Kelly met on Wednesday with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, followed by five moderate Republicans, followed by two leaders of the conservative House Freedom Caucus and then went to meet with the bipartisan congressional No. 2's who are attempting to negotiate a deal.

Huntsville
Broken Clouds
71° wxIcon
Hi: 76° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 71°
Florence
Overcast
72° wxIcon
Hi: 76° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 72°
Fayetteville
Clear
66° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 66°
Decatur
Broken Clouds
69° wxIcon
Hi: 76° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 69°
Scottsboro
Overcast
66° wxIcon
Hi: 77° Lo: 61°
Feels Like: 66°
WAAY Radar
WAAY WAAY-TV Cam
WAAY Temperatures

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 134231

Reported Deaths: 2357
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson19572348
Mobile13320292
Montgomery8811183
Tuscaloosa8586117
Madison782078
Shelby592349
Lee588759
Baldwin545650
Marshall393343
Calhoun349942
Etowah343945
Morgan327328
Houston280221
Elmore265947
DeKalb240620
St. Clair230835
Walker230683
Talladega214628
Limestone208820
Cullman189020
Dallas178326
Franklin176729
Autauga175725
Russell17573
Lauderdale169833
Colbert164126
Blount160815
Escambia160324
Chilton156431
Jackson156011
Covington138527
Dale135844
Coffee13206
Pike119410
Chambers116142
Tallapoosa115685
Clarke108916
Marion95729
Butler91639
Barbour8737
Winston73812
Marengo71620
Pickens65614
Lowndes65327
Bibb65210
Randolph64213
Hale63428
Lawrence61623
Geneva6074
Cherokee60313
Bullock59914
Monroe5848
Clay5797
Washington55613
Perry5416
Crenshaw53632
Conecuh53511
Wilcox53111
Henry4935
Macon48119
Fayette4508
Sumter43519
Lamar3662
Cleburne3646
Choctaw34912
Greene30315
Coosa1683
Out of AL00
Unassigned00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 189454

Reported Deaths: 2352
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Shelby30613455
Davidson26381303
Hamilton937494
Knox929875
Rutherford924089
Williamson519836
Sumner479497
Wilson345344
Putnam327740
Montgomery304544
Unassigned29474
Bradley291417
Out of TN284426
Madison283264
Sevier259615
Blount250424
Maury232923
Washington227635
Robertson220335
Sullivan214833
Hamblen189926
Tipton180519
Trousdale16537
Gibson163622
Hardeman155826
Wayne14955
Dyer135014
Bedford132817
Dickson125015
Coffee121013
Cumberland119218
Fayette118319
Weakley117619
Henderson116924
Anderson116513
Carter115828
Obion115610
Loudon11546
Greene114244
McMinn111325
Jefferson111014
Warren10477
Macon104620
Monroe103018
Lawrence102312
Hardin102216
Lauderdale97916
Haywood96819
Franklin9639
Lake9182
Roane8854
McNairy87618
Carroll87420
Bledsoe8544
White8309
Rhea82112
Cheatham80510
Hawkins79618
Marshall7495
Cocke7439
Overton7355
Smith71311
Johnson6962
Chester62310
Henry6189
Lincoln6111
Giles59117
Hickman5738
DeKalb56114
Crockett53619
Marion5258
Decatur5127
Fentress4933
Claiborne4415
Campbell4394
Polk38810
Grainger3723
Union3531
Benton3369
Jackson3245
Morgan3153
Unicoi2851
Cannon2830
Grundy2835
Humphreys2463
Sequatchie2312
Meigs2263
Clay2245
Houston2143
Scott2132
Stewart1982
Lewis1961
Moore1691
Van Buren1640
Perry1500
Pickett1142
Hancock1063

Community Events