The One Issue That Could Fracture Democrats the Most in 2018 | NTK Network The One Issue That Could Fracture Democrats the Most in 2018

The One Issue That Could Fracture Democrats the Most in 2018

While Democrats are hopeful they can retake the House and Senate in 2018, one divisive issue could put all of that in jeopardy.

By NTK Staff | 01.04.2018 @11:00am
The One Issue That Could Fracture Democrats the Most in 2018

A lot is riding on the 2018 midterms for Democrats. Eager to retake control of the House and Senate, the party is looking to stay as unified as possible in the coming months.

But that could prove difficult. Just three days in 2018, Democrats appear to be on the verge of civil war over the issue of immigration.

Party leaders promised a government shut down at the end of 2017 if protections for about 800,000 immigrants were not put in place. President Trump rescinded the Obama-era policy known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), giving Congress until March to come to a solution on how to handle the situation.

But a government shutdown never happened, and some on the far left are beginning to train their fire on party moderates, whom they view as part of the problem:

Liberal groups with millions of members, like MoveOn, are threatening primary election challenges later this year against Democrats who don’t fight hard enough for so-called “Dreamers.” Meanwhile, the liberal organization CREDO is pledging to block campaign cash from uncooperative Democrats, and the pro-immigration United We Dream is preparing a new wave of camera-friendly protests at the Capitol and outside congressional Democrats’ offices nationwide.

“The unity and trust between the grassroots and elected Democrats is rapidly eroding. It could turn ugly if this goes on any further,” said Ben Wikler, MoveOn’s Washington director.

Still, Democrats might have another opportunity to leverage this issue. The stopgap-funding bill signed by the president in December only funds the government through Jan. 19. But while some Democrats advocate a shutdown over this issue, others are more cautious.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) offer a contrast:

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren told The Associated Press on Wednesday that, like many Democrats, she prefers to pass “a clean Dream Act” before Jan. 19.

“But if we don’t, then we must do it as part of the spending bill,” she said in an interview. “We cannot afford to kick the can down the road again. We promised we would protect these young people and we need to keep that promise.”

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, in a letter to colleagues this week, reiterated support for a stand-alone bill to protect young immigrants. She did not link the issue to the spending bill, even as congressional leaders met with White House officials Wednesday to discuss plans to avoid a government shutdown.

Meanwhile, liberal outside groups are calling a stand-alone immigration bill a “pipe dream.” Those groups are now targeting the 18 Senate Democrats and 14 House Democrats who voted in favor of a temporary spending bill last month in lieu of shutting down the government.

How far these groups are willing to go to call out their own members remains to be seen.

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