Arizona Republican Senator Jeff Flake has opened up a new front in his internecine struggle with GOP leadership and Donald Trump: the debate over government funding.
Republicans – prodded by Trump’s far-right native stance – have sent Congress hurtling toward a government shutdown over the renewal of DACA, the policy that permits undocumented individuals brought over the boarder in their youth to legally remain in the United States.
The contentious back-and-forth on capital hill includes a number of stop-gap measures that would essentially kick the can down the road, moving the nation closer to the deadline to renew the policy in order to prevent the mass deportation of individuals who have known no other home than the United States.
Discussing his disappointment in his own party, Flake took a swipe at the mercurial Trump, who has bounced around on DACA as he has flippantly done on a number of other issues: “There’s an institutional prerogative here. We pass legislation. The president either signs it or vetoes it. We shouldn’t be beholden to everything the president wants.”
Flake is not running for reelection, and has recently compared Trump’s attacks on the free press to the dictatorial behavior of Joseph Stalin. He has also refused to rule out a challenge to Trump’s nomination in 2022.