I'm a little confused why DACA is the catalyst for inability to pass a budget.

What does DACA have to do with the federal budget? Is the disagreement over inclusion of funding for it? Or have those voting against a budget said something like "DACA or no budget?"


2 Answers 2


The thing being blocked is actually a continuing resolution (CR) for appropriations and not a budget. See this answer or this editorial for details.

To answer the core of the question, Democrats have said (for several months now) that they will not provide votes for any CR (or other appropriations bill) unless there is a legislative replacement for DACA. As this piece says,

Ever since Trump announced in September that he would end the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program on March 5 unless Congress acted to extend it, Democrats in the House and Senate have been clamoring for a permanent legislative fix to protect the young immigrants known as Dreamers.

Negotiations on this issue most recently collapsed when President Trump rejected a deal.

The short answer is that most of those voting against have said “if there is no solution for Dreamers, we will not vote for appropriations.”


They're not inherently related, but Democrats are using the government shutdown as leverage to try to get a DACA deal passed. Trump is actually in favor passing a DACA deal, but he's using the ending of DACA as leverage to get funding for his Wall (as well as ending "chain migration" and ending the Diversity Visa Lottery Program).

So here's what each side basically wants:

Democrats: DACA deal, no Wall but possibly other border security, and no shutdown.

Trump: DACA deal, a Wall, and no shutdown.

The two sides are using their leverage and threatening outcomes they don't want in order to try and get their preferred outcome. It's a game of chicken.

  • I didn't think Trump was a Senator with a vote. (i.e. the two 'sides' are the Democrats and the Republicans.)
    – CGCampbell
    Jan 24, 2018 at 18:36
  • @CGCampbell Well, Trump doesn't have a vote, but he has a pen. And he was saying that he wouldn't sign a DACA bill without a Wall. Jan 24, 2018 at 18:52
  • 2
    That's exactly what he's saying. Doesn't matter what the Senate agrees to or passes if the president won't sign, unless they have a veto-proof margin. CG's claim that there are "two sides" belies what actually happened, since there was a compromise agreement between Senators on both sides and Trump declared it a non-starter, so it was not moved forward. Jan 24, 2018 at 21:15

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