Led by Chuck Grassley, GOP senators are preparing a comprehensive immigration bill - as called for by President Trump. But as with the tax bill, if Trump were to get behind immigration reform legislation and work the GOP, the chances are a lot better for passage.
The Secure and Succeed Act offers a 10-12 year path to citizenship for the 1.8 million Dreamers.
The Senate plans to begin a rare, open-ended debate on immigration and the fate of the "Dreamer" immigrants on Monday.
"Whoever gets to 60 wins", McConnell told reporters at a news conference on February 6. "It doesn't surprise me from Gen. Kelly", No. 2 Senate Democratic leader Richard Durbin of IL, his party's chief immigration negotiator, said of the White House staff chief's remarks.
"President Trump has been very clear on what he will sign into law, and this is it", Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona and Lindsey Graham of SC are keen on securing protection - though not necessarily immediate citizenship - for Dreamers, along with funding for a border wall and an end to the diversity visa lottery, which aims to bring immigrants to the USA from underrepresented countries and is a particular bête noire of conservatives. But it would not include the curbs on legal immigration Trump seeks.
A clock is ticking: almost 700 000 of the Dreamers, those registered under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, could begin losing protections from expulsion early next month.
Democrats are playing politics with memo, says Trump
Backers of Trump pushed ahead with that argument on Saturday. "The meaning of the "(and more )" was not immediately clear. They said they wrote their memo to correct the record and include what was omitted from the Republican document.
The Democrats may try to get a vote on the swing-vote Senator's bill on January 14 or 15 partly because the Senate's immigration debate may not continue on Friday, January 16. The administration has not made its views known on this, and indications are that its immediate priory lies in dealing with illegal immigration and border security.
The president puts the onus on Democrats but differences among Republicans could also pose challenges and Senate rules will require bipartisan support to get an immigration overhaul approved. Trump delayed the program's end until March 5, charging Congress with putting together a legislative proposal on the issue by that deadline.
"The only enemy here is overreach", Schumer said. First, they can't agree on how large they should go with this bill.
After two days of procedural fits and starts, the Senate finally moved Wednesday to begin debate on immigration reforms aimed at resolving what to do with undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as children whose legal status in the country may soon expire.
His proposal was front and center as senators from both sides of the aisle began an unpredictable process that could yield a long-sought breakthrough on immigration, or end in failure - with hundreds of thousands of immigrants at risk of losing their legal protections early next month.
The Senate's Republican and Democratic leaders say it's going to be tough to broker a successful deal on immigration policy.