Senate Dems relent, vote to end shutdown; House to follow

Lester Mason
January 23, 2018

That is, would Speaker Paul Ryan be willing to bring to the floor a bill that the House Freedom Caucus strongly opposed? "But this is not a moment to pat ourselves on the back".

The vote comes several hours after the workday for hundreds of thousands of furloughed federal employees was supposed to have begun, and it comes three days after the government officially shut down Friday at midnight.

It would then be sent to President Donald Trump for his signature, ending a three-day government shutdown.

Congress sped toward reopening the government Monday as Democrats reluctantly voted to temporarily pay for resumed operations, relenting in a fight over immigration in return for assurances from Republican leaders that the Senate will soon take up the plight of young "dreamers" and other contentious issues.

Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer and GOP leader Mitch McConnell came to an agreement Monday afternoon to fund the government through February 8.

Word of the compromise deal struck in Washington sent U.S. stocks surging to new highs. The intervening period could also provide multiple opportunities for conflict within the GOP over immigration policy, and for more odd and erratic behavior from the White House. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Joe Manchin III, D-W.Va., would force him to abide by his commitments. "We'll make a long-term deal on immigration if it is good for the country".

But the Republicans' plan was criticized by none other than their party leader, President Trump.

The White House said it is ready to negotiate with the Democrats even if there is differences between the two. "The great deal-making president sat on the sidelines", Schumer said. "The White House really hasn't been involved from what I've seen".

"Leader McConnell will be held to his word that we will have a spending bill that addresses both defense and non-defense priorities, along with a fair opportunity to pass immigration reform", said Senator Cardin.

There are an estimated 700,000 "Dreamers" whose fates are up in the air.

"Today's cave by Senate Democrats - led by weak-kneed, right-of-center Democrats - is why people don't believe the Democratic Party stands for anything", said Stephanie Taylor, co-founder of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee.

Trump has staked his political fortunes on taking a hard line on immigrants, painting them as criminals and scroungers.

Senator Tim Kaine summed up the view of the more optimistic Democrats: "We got a commitment that I feel very, very good about". A 2013 immigration bill received bipartisan support in the Senate but never made it to the floor of the House.

Shortly after the Senate vote, the House passed the short-term continuance on a vote of 266-150.

The budget failure has necessitated passage by Congress of a series of temporary funding measures, giving Democrats leverage each step of the way since they hold votes needed to overcome a 60-vote threshold in the Senate for most legislation. And then there were some, Republican and Democrat alike, who tried to make government work.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

Discuss This Article