WASHINGTON – House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) on Thursday suggested that Congress might delay weighing legislation protecting recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program from deportation until next year.
“The deadline is March as far as I understand it,” Ryan said in response to a question at a news conference.
“We’ve got other deadlines in front of that, like fiscal year deadlines, and appropriation deadlines,” he added.
The government will run out of money on Dec. 8 if Congress does not approve a temporary spending bill.
Many Democrats have suggested that they will not support a stop-gap funding measure if DACA concerns are not simultaneously addressed.
Ryan reiterated his contention that DACA legislation is crucial and criticized House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) for earlier this week backing out of a scheduled White House meeting with President Donald Trump that had been set up to negotiate plans to avoid a government shutdown.
The Democrats backed out in response to a tweet by Trump in which the president suggested that he could not foresee reaching an acceptable bipartisan compromise on DACA as well as a host of other issues.
The administration in September announced its intention to phase out DACA within six months.
Since that time the White House has maintained that support for any legislation protecting DACA recipients would depend upon an agreement to crack down on sanctuary cities, end chain migration and allocate funds to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
Democrats are against all three proposals.