Simply put, "it's a mess," or so an unnamed person involved in Washington's attempt to come to an agreement on a long-term spending plan—something that has to happen by Jan. 19—tells CNN. The hangup isn't spending, but immigration, with Republican John Cornyn accusing Democrats of essentially holding a budget agreement hostage until a resolution on how to handle the dissolution of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program is arrived at. Politico notes the program ends March 5, but some of the so-called "Dreamers" have already seen their protection from deportation eliminated. Both sides will meet with President Trump Tuesday in an effort to push things along, but Cornyn warns the hangup is "going to make the January 19 date pretty hard to hit."
And CNN notes there's even a thorn in Tuesday's meeting, in that the Republicans chosen to attend the meeting are ones considered by Democrats to be "openly hostile to finding a consensus deal on DACA." Politico's take on consensus is that the two sides have a long way to go, in part because of border and other immigration-themed topics that need to be agreed upon as part of a larger deal—the Department of Homeland Security on Friday listed $33 billion in immigration-related demands that include $18 billion for the border wall and 10,000 new immigration officers. Reuters reports Chuck Schumer on Monday called the demands "unreasonable." CNN reports those attending the meeting are pushing to keep the deal narrow to increase its shot at success. (Read more DACA stories.)