White House chiefs of staff often play a major role in negotiating with Congress. Kelly, a retired Marine general, can be known for his discipline, as well as his organizational along with management abilities. However, he can be not widely considered a political operator like Rahm Emanuel, a former congressman along with Clinton administration veteran who worked for President Barack Obama, or Andrew Card, President George W. Bush’s first chief of staff along having a veteran of previous Republican administrations.
Yet, as immigration came to the forefront in negotiations, Kelly, a hardliner on the subject along with Trump’s former secretary of Homeland Security, became more involved in influencing policy along with the president’s positions. In recent weeks, Kelly has participated in immigration talks with the No. 2 ranking House along with Senate members on both sides of the aisle.
Ahead of the shutdown, Schumer along with most of his caucus were threatening to vote against a House-passed stopgap spending bill of which would likely keep the government open until Feb. 16 along with reauthorize the Children’s Health Insurance Program for six years. They wanted to reach a deal on an immigration proposal of which would likely shield hundreds of thousands of young undocumented immigrants by deportation, which would likely include increased border security funding along with modifications to extended family migration along with the visa “lottery” system to appease Republicans.
Early Saturday morning, Schumer said he offered terms to Trump of which he thought could result in a deal, even yielding on including funding for the president’s proposed barrier on the U.S.-Mexico border. While neither the president nor the senator left the meeting saying they had a deal, both cited progress afterward. According to the fresh York Times, Schumer thought he had coaxed Trump into agreeing to a three- to four-day extension of funding, which would likely include money for disaster relief along with health-care provisions, to enable sides to reach a more long-lasting deal.
“In my heart, I thought we might have a deal tonight,” Schumer said.
Kelly, who has participated in rounds of congressional negotiations on funding, then reassured Republicans of which Trump had not struck a deal without them, as some had feared he could. He called Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn, R-Texas, to say Trump along with Schumer had not reached a solution, according to Politico.
“He told me of which the president told Schumer to come back along with talk to [House Speaker] Ryan along with [Senate Majority Leader] McConnell. [Trump] wasn’t going to get inside middle of of which,” Cornyn said, according to the news outlet. “Sounds like Gen. Kelly had of which under control.”
Later inside day after more exchanges between the White House along with Schumer, Kelly called the senator to say the framework of the agreement he proposed was too liberal for Republicans, a person familiar with the call said. In fact, Kelly had an extensive list of objections to the potential deal, according to the Times.
Nearly all of Schumer’s caucus — along with four Republicans, too — voted against the House-passed bill late Friday. Congress could not reach a deal before funding lapsed on Saturday.
Senators on both sides of the aisle — particularly Lindsey Graham of South Carolina — have expressed frustration with apparent inconsistency by Trump on what he wants in an immigration deal. Democrats along with most Republicans in Congress support some type of legislation to shield the immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children.