House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said Friday a legislative fix to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program is unlikely to be taken up before the end of the year.
The California Republican — who is a member of the GOP’s eight-person DACA working group — said while discussions are taking place, the lower chamber is currently pressed to complete other time-sensitive matters before the end of the year.
“Well you know, DACA you have until March. I don’t see the answer to that yet, because you’ve got to have border security as well, but I see progress being made,” McCarthy told The Daily Caller Friday. “Right now we have the funding of government — we’ve got to get that done, and then I believe we’ll get DACA done in time before that deadline.”
While House Republican leadership has repeatedly said they would prefer DACA to be passed as a stand-alone bill, a rising number of GOP lawmakers are calling for it to be attached to must-pass legislation.
Republican Virginia Rep. Scott Taylor is spearheading a letter, which is rumored to have upwards of 30 GOP signatures, calling for action to be taken before the end of the year that’s expected to be sent to House Speaker Paul Ryan early next week.
Florida Republican Rep. Carlos Curbelo said he refuses to vote for any spending measure that doesn’t include a provision on the program, which protects individuals who entered the country illegally as children from deportation.
McCarthy told TheDC language on DACA won’t be attached to the upcoming short-term continuing resolution, which has to pass if lawmakers want to keep the government open after Dec. 8.
Top Democrats have repeatedly said they want to find a permanent, bipartisan solution for the program. Theoretically, if enough Republicans get on board with a Democratic-led plan, they could bypass GOP leadership’s plans.
Despite a handful of lawmakers pushing to act the close of 2017, McCarthy said he’s not concerned members of his conference will attempt to buck leadership’s timeline on the issue.
“No — there’s a lot of people that want to make sure they solve the DACA issue, but we’ve got to do it right,” he told TheDC.