Thursday, 21 February, 2019

Democrats Learn the Hard Way that Americans Don't Like Government Shutdowns

US federal employees to return after lawmakers end government shutdown US federal employees to return after lawmakers end government shutdown
Nellie Chapman | 23 January, 2018, 07:43

The Senate set a vote for 12 p.m. (1700 GMT) on Monday on advancing a measure to provide temporary government funding through February 8, end the shutdown and allow hundreds of thousands of federal employees to return to work. Senate Democrats agreed to the measure after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell committed to a vote on immigration.

The president met for lunch with six conservative Senate Republicans - Tom Cotton of Arkansas, John Cornyn of Texas, Chuck Grassley of Iowa, James Lankford of Oklahoma, David Perdue of Georgia, and Thom Tillis of North Carolina - shortly after leaders in the Senate announced they had brokered an agreement to keep the government open for nearly three more weeks.

Any potential deal to end the shutdown would see DACA discussed in the Senate while the temporary spending bill is in place.

The California Democrat was one of just 18 senators - including 16 Democrats - who voted against the short-term spending measure to fund the government through February 8, which ends the government shutdown that began Friday night.

The Senate, however, does not have any guarantee that a potential DACA deal will get a vote in the House, where Republicans have a stronger majority than in the Senate. I think that's also why today we're hearing a lot of disappointment from immigration activists that Democrats should have held the line on the shutdown and tried to extract more of a commitment from President Trump and from congressional Republicans. They ultimately wooed four Democrats to support the proposal to fund the government. Susan Collins (R-Maine) in November that if she voted for the contentious tax reform bill, he'd put a bipartisan bill to shore up the Affordable Care Act insurance marketplaces to a vote before the end of 2017.

MCEVERS: And Democrats for their part say they expect Senate Leader McConnell to make good on his promise.

Republicans declared they would not reopen talks until the government shutdown ends, a strategy aimed at trying to erode Democratic cohesion.

Senators voted 80-18 to reopen the government, a measure backed up by a vote hours later in the House of Representatives.

White House negotiators, legislative affairs director Marc Short and budget chief Mick Mulvaney went to Capitol Hill to meet with House Republicans, who emerged holding fast to their stance that they would not negotiate while the administration was closed down.

But leader of the Democrats in the upper house Chuck Schumer criticised Donald Trump for failing to help in striking the deal and said he had not spoken to him since the shutdown began on Friday.

Even if an immigration bill passes the Senate, however, it's unclear whether House Speaker Paul Ryan would bring up the same bill in the Republican-controlled House.

But Senate Democrats gave no immediate sign that they would get on board with the temporary spending Bill, leaving open the possibility of another failed vote that could further deepen the partisan divide three days into the shutdown. However, with that expiring in early March, Democrats, facing heavy pressure from immigration advocates, had pledged not to fund the government until a deal was reached.