President Trump said Sunday that Republicans must change Senate laws in order to pass tougher border and immigration legislation. In a position shift, he also said the GOP should no longer make a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program deal with Democrats.
Trump tweeted that liberal laws are preventing Border Patrol agents from doing their jobs and Republicans need to take action.
The “nuclear option” Trump is referring to would involve changing Senate rules so legislation can pass with a simple majority instead of 60 votes. Republican leadership has resisted his previous calls for the change.
In his tweet, Trump also said there should no longer be a deal on DACA legislation. The program provides protections for certain immigrants who came to the country illegally as children. Trump ended the program last year and called on Congress to negotiate a fix.
He has accused Democrats of failing to agree on a deal he could sign, saying they “just don’t care,” while also refusing to sign several bipartisan deals. Trump has called for a fix that would include border wall funding and other legislative causes Democrats don’t want to support.
It is not clear whether Republicans would have enough support to pass a bill that includes all of Trump’s requirements without Democratic support, even under a simple majority vote.
In another tweet, Trump charged that immigrants are trying to take advantage of DACA.
“These big flows of people are all trying to take advantage of DACA,” he tweeted. “They want in on the act!”
“A lot of people are coming in because they want to take advantage of DACA,” Trump told reporters later Sunday morning on his way into Easter services. “They had a great chance, the Democrats blew it. They had a great, great chance.”
Trump has called on Senate Republicans to use the nuclear option in the past. In January he tweeted that they should use it pass a long-term budget and avoid a continuing resolution.