* Mike DeBonis and Josh Dawsey report that the White House is saying DACA isn’t dead:
White House officials have told key Republican leaders on Capitol Hill that President Trump is open to cutting a deal in an upcoming spending bill to protect young immigrants from deportation in exchange for border wall funding, according to four GOP officials briefed on the talks.
The offer could represent a significant shift for Trump, who in January insisted on much broader immigration restrictions in exchange for any protections for “dreamers” — the young immigrants brought to the United States illegally as children, some of whom have been protected under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program that Trump canceled in September.
Now, with the DACA cancellation tied up in the courts and no clear path for stand-alone immigration legislation, the officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the negotiations, said Trump is warming to a simpler deal that would allow his administration to quickly start work on a U.S.-Mexico border wall — a centerpiece of his 2016 presidential campaign.
He has broken his promises so many times on this issue that it’s a little hard to believe.
* Ed O’Keefe and Amy Gardner report that Congress actually passed a bill on gun violence today, sort of:
As schoolchildren staged a walkout across the country to press for tougher gun controls, Congress took modest steps Wednesday to prevent violence in classrooms — even as lawmakers continued squabbling over broader action to curb gun rights.
The House overwhelmingly passed the first federal legislation to address gun violence or school safety since the Feb. 14 shooting massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., that left 17 dead.
Lawmakers passed the STOP School Violence Act of 2018, 407 to 10. The vote came hours after thousands of students marched through the streets of Washington and walked out of schools across the country to build support for similar legislation.
The bill reauthorizes a program created in 2001 through the Justice Department to prevent threats against school. The legislation authorizes $50 million to intensify school security, pay for federal “threat assessment teams” to help school districts sort through reported threats, create an anonymous reporting system so that students and others can report threats and pay for training and technical assistance programs for law enforcement and school officials to help identify potentially violent behavior.
It’s not much, but it shows that they’re feeling the pressure.
* Jeff Hauser explains how the administration is using interim appointments to U.S. Attorney positions to do an end run around the confirmation process and install Trump-friendly prosecutors for extended periods.
* Robert Schlesinger examines the troubling implications of the Republicans’ “blame Russia last” strategy.