The political buzz in Washington after President Trump’s crude comment on Wednesday is that he has poisoned the bargaining atmosphere.
Congressional efforts to reach an immigration deal are tied up as the deadline on a spending bill is getting closer.
A Democratic Congressman who immigrated from the Dominican Republic called Trump talk of “s--thole countries" was "like throwing gasoline on the fire."
A Republican Congresswoman who immigrated from Cuba said if it wasn't "racism," she wouldn't know "how you can define it."
"The comment made it worse,” says NBC News’ political director Chuck Todd. “And now I think, frankly, he's given more leverage to the Democrats. I think you're going to have a whole bunch of Congressional Republicans realizing that the President's comments, politically, are so indefensible.”
In a satellite interview from Washington Friday afternoon, Todd said Trump's base dissuaded him from extending protections for the so-called "Dreamers."
The deadline on Congress' stopgap funding bill expires next week on Friday, January 19th, after which the government would shut down for lack of funding for the first time since 2013.
"Now I think, realistically, you're going to see a really short extension in that budget bill, so the lights won't go out on January 19th,” Todd predicted. “But they'll probably only extend it ten days. And I think that's all designed to try to buy more time and come up with something on the immigration front.
Trump has given Congress until March to come up with an immigration agreement that would spare the Dreamers from deportation, and allow them to work legally in this country.