Friday, 23 February, 2018

Senate to Vote Monday on Whether to End Government Shutdown

Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch Mc Connell returns Senate leaders reach deal to reopen federal government on 3rd day of shutdown
Melinda Barton | 23 January, 2018, 09:50

Bill Nelson was part of a group of Senate Democrats and Republicans who switched their vote on Monday to agree to a short-term spending bill that reopens the federal government in exchange for a debate and vote on a legislative solution for almost 800,000 undocumented young immigrants known as Dreamers.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell gestures to reporters after lawmakers struck a deal to reopen the federal government three days into a shutdown on Capitol Hill in Washington on Monday 22 January.

President Donald Trump met with six Senate Republicans on Monday about the next steps in the push for an immigration overhaul bill, according to a senior White House official.

Democratic and Republican senators are said to have worked out an arrangement that will enable Congress to pass a short-term funding bill that would effectively allow the government to continue operating after it had entered its third day of the shutdown. "Any plan to protect Dreamers that relies on the word of serial liars like Mitch McConnell, Paul Ryan or Donald Trump is doomed to fail".

Democrats have balked at voting for any measure that does not restore the soon-to-expire Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, that provides legal status to 800,000 immigrant youth who were brought into the country illegally.

Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn of Texas said he thought Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of NY agreed to push back the vote to give his caucus "a chance to chew" on a GOP proposal to break the impasse.

"The strategy to shut down the government over the issue of illegal immigration is something the American people didn't understand", McConnell said on the Senate floor.

Commenting after the breakthrough vote, Mr Trump said he was glad the government will now be funded. Most of the No votes came from the most liberal Democratic senators and a few senators who are weighing a 2020 presidential bid.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) announced his support for the compromise on the chamber's floor Monday afternoon, while taking a shot at President Trump for seemingly playing a reduced role in the shutdown. The president signed the bill Monday night.

McConnell (left) hoped to set a vote for Sunday night, which Schumer opposed in a bid to keep negotiating.

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"The Democrats are turning down services and security for citizens in favor of services and security for non-citizens". "We have yet to reach an agreement on a path forward", Schumer said then.

"I'm disappointed with the conversation that suggests a false choice", said Democratic Sen. "And perhaps a bill that I vote on to start the process in the House is not one I vote for in final passage, but it's the way that it's supposed to work". The shutdown will not interrupt combat operations in Afghanistan and other military activities, the Defence Department said, and federal law enforcement officers remained on duty.

During the Democrat-driven shutdown, Trump refused to negotiate with them on DACA or any other immigration policies, forcing them to reassess their strategy.