Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Monday ripped Democrats, saying they are letting a “radical fringe” sabotage government funding negotiations by proposing a cap on the number of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention beds.
“This is a poison pill that no administration, not this one, not the previous one, should ever accept,” McConnell said from the Senate floor. “Imagine the absurdity of this: House Democrats want to set a limit on how many criminal aliens our government can detain.”
He added that negotiations seemed to be “on track” and in a “pretty good place” until this past weekend.
“House Democrats decided to add a poison pill demand into the conversations at the eleventh hour,” he said. “It’s a new demand. It’s extreme.”
Democrats acknowledged on Sunday that they had proposed a cap on the number of ICE detention beds, arguing it would force the Trump administration to focus on “serious criminals,” and that numbers were in line with those from the Obama administration.
Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) said on Monday that the demand had become an “obstacle” to the talks, with a key group of negotiators meeting that day to try to resolve the stalemate.
McConnell on Monday accused Democrats of supporting a “get out of jail free card” and that Democrats were willing to support “craziness” from some of their members.
“This is where some Democrats are. A get out of jail free card for criminals because the radical left doesn’t like U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement,” he said.