The Senate has reached a deal that will reopen the government by tonight. Only 18 Senators voted against the deal in the context of a motion to end debate. The House is expected to agree to the deal by uniting Republican and Democratic leaders in an agreement on immigration and spending.
The bill agreed to would fund the government through Feb. 8 and reauthorize the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) for six years. It includes no protections for the so-called Dreamers and no promise of a vote on measures offering such protections.
In short, this is a win for President Trump and the GOP. As Brit Hume tweeted:
I doubted that it was possible, but Dems have actually lost a shutdown fight. Schumer has agreed to end the filibuster in exchange for practically nothing. Make no mistake: Schumer and the Dems caved. What a political fiasco.
UPDATE: I haven’t yet see a complete list of the Senators who voted against the deal. However, the Dems believed to have presidential ambitions in 2020 — Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, Kristen Gillibrand, Cory Booker, and Bernie Sanders — all voted “no.” They understand the desires of the Democratic base.
Schumer understands them too, which is why he led the Dems into this mess. He also understands that his life is going to be very difficult unless he can eventually get a DACA deal that looks something like victory.
Schumer may be a little bit better positioned to accomplish this as a result of his cave. With CHIP renewed, the GOP won’t be able to hold it over the Democrats’ head. Moreover, Mitch McConnell agreed to say: “This immigration debate will have a level playing field at the outset and an amendment process that is fair to all sides.”
Schumer construes this as a commitment to hold an immigration vote. But other Democratic Senators say they didn’t hear anything new from McConnell that gives them confidence he would hold an immigration vote.
They are probably right. However, Schumer, with the help of the liberal media, will be able to accuse McConnell of going back on his word if there’s another shutdown showdown.
On the other hand, the fact that the Democrats blinked, for once, in shutdown showdown will give Republicans confidence that they can win the next one too.
THE VOTE: Two Republicans voted against the bill: Rand Paul and Mike Lee.
The five potential Democratic candidates for president were joined in voting “no” by: Sens. Blumenthal, Cortez Masto, Feinstein, Hirono, Leahy, Markey, Menendez, Merkely, Murphy, Tester, and Wyden.
Tester’s vote is the most interesting. He is from the Red State of Montana and is up for re-election this year. Ironically, he is the only Democratic senator still in office who opposed the 2010 DREAM Act. Tester says his vote wasn’t about DACA, but rather about the unreliability of a short-term funding bill and the lack of a commitment for funding to address rural concerns.