- The Washington Times - Monday, January 15, 2018

Rep. Charlie Dent said Monday that President Trump may need to extend his deadline on DACA if Congress cannot pass an agreement.

“We may need the president to back off the timeline if we cannot an agreement, but there is simply no reason why we cannot get an agreement,” Mr. Dent, Pennsylvania Republican, said on CNN.

He explained that both Republicans and Democrats agree that there needs to be some protection in place for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals — an Obama-era policy allowing those brought to the U.S. illegally as children to stay — but said Mr. Trump’s recent controversial comments in a closed-door meeting could derail negotiations.

Mr. Dent said Democrats may end up trying to tie the budget deal to the DACA bill, which he said he would support if the issues cannot be handled separately. Other Republicans, however, have said they want the issues to each stand alone.

“We’re ready to go. I believe that this Dreamer proposal should be tied to the budget agreement that should be forthcoming anytime soon,” he said.

Mr. Dent later clarified that he would also be OK with handling the two issues separately as well.

“I’d be happy to do it as stand-alone measures,” he added.

Mr. Trump set a deadline of March 5 for DACA protections to expire if Congress doesn’t pass a new bill to protect this group.

• Sally Persons can be reached at spersons@washingtontimes.com.

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