WASHINGTON (CBSMiami) – Senator Marco Rubio is trying to put his gang past behind him.
The Republican senator said he has no plans of joining a bi-partisan group of senators trying to work out a deal on how to save Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA) and providing a path to citizenship for immigrants brought here illegally as children, according to Politco.com.
Rubio said with Republicans in full control of both Congressional parties, a gang of senators should not dictate a solution.
“I don’t believe that what we’re going to end up doing here can be a product of a gang,” Rubio told Politico. “There won’t be a 12-person gang. What we do here cannot be a product of a group of people that come out of a room and say: ‘This is a direction we’re going.'”
Rubio was a key co-author of the 2013 Gang of Eight comprehensive immigration bill. The immigration bill passed by a vote of 68-32 in the Senate, with 14 Republicans joining all Democrats. The House, however, did not take up the bill and it expired at the end of the 113th Congress.
The senator’s reluctance to join the new bipartisan group is indicative of the pessimism on the Hill that lawmakers will be able to reach an agreement on their tight schedule.
Even if they do come to terms with a deal, it still has to be approved by President Donald Trump who wants funding for a border wall with Mexico. Trump has said in the past, “if you don’t have a wall, you don’t have DACA.”
Senate Minority leader Chuck Schumer has decided to pull funding for a border wall with Mexico from the immigration reform talks. Including funding for a border wall could push away liberal Democrats from supporting long-term government funding, but attract conservative Republicans to getting behind a deal.
A failure to compromise on immigration could lead to another government shutdown. The current funding package only keeps the federal government funded until February 8th.