Government Shutdown Should End Soon

Howard TerryJan 26, 2018

Senate Republican leader McConnell's commitment to quickly tackle the issue of immigrant "Dreamers" was contingent on Democrats providing enough votes now for a stopgap spending measure lasting a little less than three weeks.

The announcement comes after Democrats and Republicans once again failed to come to an agreement on a spending bill concerning key issues like immigration and health care.

But whatever the political victory for the Republicans is, it's probably a short-term one because when the conversation was about shutting down the government on behalf of people in the country illegally, Democrats were losing the debate.

Democratic leaders - anxious about being blamed for a disruptive shutdown - accepted a Republican promise to hold a full Senate debate over immigration and the 700,000 Dreamers who were brought to the United States illegally as children.

On Sunday, as both the president and the White House accused Democrats of holding government funding for the military "hostage", the editorial board of The Wall Street Journal praised the administration for refraining from "trying to exploit" the shutdown "for political advantage".

Democratic lawmakers counter that the president hurt negotiations by initially expressing support for a compromise and then abruptly turning it away. She says only then can leaders work together for bipartisan solutions on immigration changes. McConnell and Schumer met off the Senate floor in the early evening, as many in quiet Capitol offices flipped their television screens to playoff football games.

Senate rules impose a threshold of 60 votes to break a filibuster, and Senate Republicans now hold a slim majority of 51 votes, meaning even if they can unite their members, they need nine more votes to end debate.

With elections set for November for a third of US Senate seats and the entire House of Representatives, both sides are maneuvering to blame the other for the shutdown.

He said the Democrats still want something tangible on DACA but said it was problematic because it could run into the February 8 funding deadline.

This weekend, callers to the White House comment line noticed an interesting new voicemail message had been placed on the machine.

The shutdown's effects have been mostly muted so far due to the fact that it has only been in effect over the weekend when most government workers would be home anyway and agencies would either be closed or working on a limited basis. It doesn't tie the immigration vote to another piece of legislation, a tactic often used to build momentum.

In a television interview, House Speaker Paul D. Ryan had called Democrats' position "bizarre" and "just ridiculous".

"Not only do they not consult us, but they can't even get on the same page with their own president", he said. "They blinked", principal deputy press secretary Raj Shah told CNN. Now is not the time to be accepting bad deals and playing the long game.

But shortly before 7 p.m. Sunday, Graham said no deal had been reached by the moderate group because Democrats were not on board.

Republicans have appeared increasingly confident that Democrats were bearing the brunt of criticism for the shutdown and that they would ultimately buckle. Kamala Harris, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren were among those who voted no on a procedural measure to advance the funding bill.

Feinstein said she wasn't persuaded by McConnell's assurances and did not know how a proposal to protect the more than 700,000 younger immigrants would fare in the House. Five Democrats from states won by Trump broke ranks in a vote Friday. It also includes $31 billion in tax cuts, including a delay in implementing a tax on medical devices.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer emerged bruised from the three-day government shutdown, which is expected to end Monday after the Senate reached a compromise. President Trump on Monday accused Democrats of prioritizing services and security for noncitizens over USA citizens. "Not good", the Republican president said on Twitter. "We'll see if they dig in or if they want a way out".

Republicans seemed content to hope more Democrats will break as pressure builds and the impact of the shutdown becomes clearer.

In an impassioned closed-door meeting, Schumer told his members that McConnell's pledge was the best deal they were going to get.

The GOP's leader, Sen.

Most essential services remain unaffected but there were reports of confusion at national monuments and major tourist destinations administered by the federally-un National Park Service.

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