Multiple votes on competing proposals are expected. Leaders and other senators close to the debate say they don’t know how long it will take or if anything can pass.
In return for allowing DACA recipients to stay, Trump and many conservative Republicans are demanding guaranteed spending increases for border security, significant curbs on family migration — also referred to by some Republicans as “chain migration” — and the end of the diversity visa lottery program. But Democrats, and other GOP lawmakers, vehemently oppose taking those steps — especially imposing those kinds of limits to family based immigration policy.
Congress passed a broad budget bill in an overnight session Friday, keeping the government open for several more weeks and putting in place new spending levels for the next two years.
“The bill … which will not have underlying immigration text, will have an amendment process that will ensure a level playing field,” McConnell said in the early morning hours Friday. “While I obviously cannot guarantee any outcome, let alone super majority support, I can ensure the process is fair to all sides.”
“For many senators, it’s a first introduction to Senate 101, how this place used to work,” said Sen. Dick Durbin, a Democrat from Illinois and as whip is the second ranking Democrat in the chamber, who is heavily involved in the immigration issue, about the open amendment process.
Of course, getting a proposal through the Senate is just half the fight; getting a plan through the House, where GOP leader have not promised to take up what the Senate passes, is something different all together. House Speaker Paul Ryan has repeatedly said he’s looking to Trump to back a proposal before committing that the House will act on the issue.
Democrats’ memo in limbo after Trump prevents its release (for now)
The House Intelligence Committee will consider its next steps after Trump blocked the release of the Democratic memo, demanding changes first because he said it contains material that should remain classified.
Democrats slammed the move to stop the release of their memo, calling Trump’s decision hypocritical and part of a pattern of the administration’s attempts to thwart or undermine the Russia investigations.
Schiff said Sunday he plans to meet with the FBI to hear concerns about a Democratic rebuttal to a Republican intelligence memo alleging FBI abuses of its surveillance authority.
“We’re going to sit down with the FBI and go through any concerns that they have, and any legitimate concerns over sources and methods, we will redact,” Schiff told CBS’s “Face the Nation.”
The President’s budget spotlights Trump’s priorities
Trump sends his fiscal 2019 budget request to Congress this week. Because Capitol Hill just passed a two-year budget deal, Trump’s budget is expected to be largely ignored, but it will still be watched closely as a sign of his priorities.
Both the House and Senate will hold hearings this week to examine the President’s proposed budget request for Fiscal Year 2019.
The Senate Budget Committee is expected to hear from Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney on Tuesday, and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin will appear before the Senate Finance Committee to discuss the budget Wednesday. The Finance Committee is also expected to hold a second hearing on the budget Thursday with Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar.
Congressional appropriators will continue their work readying an omnibus spending bill that is the result of the budget deal this week and should be voted on in each chamber by March 23. These are the fine point details of agency-by-agency spending needs.
In a possible sign of their constructive and possibly warming relationship, Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer and McConnell — who cut the big budget deal last week — will appear on stage together at the McConnell Center at the University of Louisville on Monday at 9 a.m. ET.
The House Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities will examine the 2019 budget request for U.S. Special Operation Forces and Command Thursday.
The Senate Judiciary Committee will consider several circuit and district judge nominations Wednesday and Thursday.
CNN’s Manu Raju, Jeremy Herb, Maegan Vazquez, Kaitlan Collins and Sophie Tatum contributed to this report.