Democrats Caved, Get Little, as Government Shutdown Ends
The US government shutdown is over, and the impasse exposed the Democrats’ limits on how far they were willing to go with the fight, at the risk of looking beholden to 1 part of their base, activists pushing to allow the Dreamers (DACA) to stay in the US legally at the cost of national security.
What both parties did pushed the issue out 3 weeks, long enough to get past President Trump’s State of the Union address on 30 January
Federal lawmakers also reached a deal to end the shutdown just as federal agencies were beginning to implement it, the public and Wall Street ignored it and rallied to new all time highs.
The commitment from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to open an immigration debate fell far short of what some Democrats wanted, an ironclad promise to bring up a fix to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program in coming weeks, do not expect The Trump Administration to budge much if at all.
Democratic manority leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) tried to put the best face on the outcome, saying on the Senate floor Monday that “now, there is a real pathway” to get a bill protecting the Dreamers through the Senate.
But, Democrats had to settle for a statement from Senator McConnell that he intended to bring an immigration bill to the floor for debate.
Senate Democrats caved.
Democratic Representative Louise Slaughter of New York said she was baffled as to why Senator Schumer did not say the government shutdown was Senator McConnell’s fault since he’s responsible for getting the votes. “We’re taking a great hit,” Ms. Slaughter said. “Totally unjustified. And our people just seem to take it flat-footed.”
Democrats also got nothing from the House.
Speaker Paul Ryan (R-MI) promised Republican lawmakers that they will not be bound by any arrangement reached in the Senate on immigration, House Freedom Caucus Chair Mark Meadows and Representative Doug Collins of Georgia said Sunday.
The fact that enough Democrats still voted to end the shutdown suggests they were starting to feel the political heat put on by the White House, which had posed the shutdown as a fight between Americans who would lose out from the shutdown, including the military, and border patrol.
Senator McConnell he wants to act before the 5 March deadline for the end of DACA, which grants protections for young immigrants. And there is still no guarantee something acceptable to Democrats will be embraced by the GOP leadership, by the House, or by President Trump by then.