In the third day of a government shutdown, the Senate moved Monday afternoon to approve a bill to fund the operations of the federal government, as Democrats dropped their opposition to a three week funding plan, accepting an assurance from Senate Republicans that there would be an upcoming debate on immigration issues involving illegal immigrants who were brought to this country at a young age by their parents.
“The Trump shutdown will soon end,” said Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer.
The deal hinged on the pledge of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to bring a bill to the floor of the Senate dealing with DACA, illegal immigrant “Dreamers” and general immigration enforcement matters, if no deal is reached in negotiations by February 8.
“I’m encouraged by the commitments that Leader McConnell has made,” said Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE), who joined other Democrats in supporting a move to re-open the federal government.
“I’m confident that we can get the 60 votes needed in the Senate for a DACA bill,” said Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer, who said the process will be “neutral and fair to all sides.”
“We have a way to address the fate of the Dreamers, instead of waiting until March,” Schumer added, referencing the March 5 deadline set by President Donald Trump for action in Congress on that subject.
But even with this agreement, there is certainly no guarantee that Democrats will get a bill that they like on immigration – and no assurance that whatever gets approved by Senators will be voted on in the House.
And there were quickly signs that Republicans would not cave to Democrats on the issue.
“We’re not going to go through this charade again where Democrats shut down the government because they’re putting the interests of illegal immigrants and foreigners over American citizens,” said Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR).