losangelesnewstoday.com
losangelesnewstoday.com February 25, 2018


U.S. government shutdown extends into working week

23 January 2018, 01:57 | Katrina Lee

Credit Courtesy Democrat Donkey and Republican Elephant isolated on white background

Democrat Donkey and Republican Elephant isolated on white background

Earlier Monday, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said Democrats would vote to fund the government until February 8 under the assurance that the chamber would take up an immigration bill by that date, even if lawmakers can not reach a compromise. That's a tall order, considering many of them have stated publicly that they won't support a deal without a vote to immediately help so-called Dreamers, or young undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S.as children and are now at risk of losing deportation relief.

The final vote tally was 81-18, with the majority of Democrats joining with the majority of Republicans to pass a bill that keeps the federal government open until February 8.

An emerging deal, kick-started by a meeting of about two dozen Republican and Democratic centrists, appeared to involve reopening the Government by Monday morning in return for a promise by majority Republicans to deal with Democrats' immigration concerns in coming weeks.

Tens of thousands of federal workers had begun closing down operations on Monday, the first weekday since the shutdown, but essential services such as security and defense operations continued.

McConnell announced a commitment to take up legislation related to the legal status of recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Immigrants, or DACA, program as well as border security after the expiry of the next stopgap spending bill (assuming there's not another shutdown).

Most Democrats opposed the short-term spending bill sent over from the House late Friday night because it did not address immigration.

Moderates from both parties pressured leaders to end the shutdown and compromise.

He urged Democratic and Republican leaders in the Senate to work out an agreement.

Amid the hard and sensitive talks to reopen the government, Trump's campaign on Saturday released a 30-second advertisement on immigration that was posted on YouTube.

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Republican leaders in Congress haven't been willing to go that far, and the White House has said it won't negotiate on immigration in any way until the government shutdown ends.

On Sunday, Mulvaney said the shutdown could last more than a week.

Immigration activists and other groups harshly criticized the deal reached by the Democratic leadership.

Mr McConnell said: "The American people can not begin to understand why the Senate Democratic leader thinks the entire government should be shut down until he gets his way on illegal immigration". "We expect that a bipartisan deal on DACA will receive fair consideration and an up-or-down vote on the floor", Schumer said.

The bill needed 60 votes to pass a procedural hurdle in the 100-member Senate, meaning Republicans - who have a one-seat majority - could not maneuver on their own.

That paved the way for current Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to nuke the filibuster for Supreme Court picks to install Justice Neil Gorsuch on the high court. 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.

As part of any immigration deal, Democrats want protections for the almost 800,000 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) recipients.

Even the key Republicans leading the bipartisan talks acknowledged that stronger language from McConnell could be helpful, as long as Democrats show that's what will get them to yes. "This shutdown was a political miscalculation of gargantuan proportions".

The hope is that if the Senate passes an immigration bill, Trump would not only support it but help sell it to the more conservative House of Representatives.



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