Senate Votes to End Government Shutdown

WASHINGTON — The Senate on Monday voted to end the three day government shutdown after an “arrangement” was agreed to eventually allow a vote on protecting “Dreamers” from deportation.

The vote was 81-18 on a motion to end debate.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said he had reached a “commitment” with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to fund the government through Feb. 8. Under the terms of the “arrangement,” as Schumer called it,  legislation to protect “Dreamers” will be brought to the floor if a “global” agreement on issues like immigration, budget caps and spending is not reached before then.

The House now has to vote on the bill, but there is expectation that it will pass on Monday afternoon.

“It’s a shame…that the American people and the Senate have had to endure such hand wringing, finger pointing, stridency to secure a guarantee that we will finally move to address this urgent issue,” Schumer said from the floor. He also bashed President Donald Trump, not only for backing away from several bipartisan deals, but for not being part of the process of settling the shutdown over the weekend. He said that the  “great deal-making president sat on the sidelines.”

McConnell treated it as a victory.

“If we have learned anything during this process, it is that the strategy of shutting down the government over illegal immigration is something the American people do not understand,” he said.

The shutdown started at midnight on Saturday after the Senate failed to reach an agreement on a short-term funding bill. Democrats wanted the legislation to include a resolution of the “Dreamer” issue, as the the Trump administration in March will phase out the existing program to provide protected status.

California’s two senators, Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris, both Democrats, each voted against the funding bill to reopen the government. Two Republicans, Mike Lee of Utah and Rand Paul of Kentucky, also voted no.

“The Majority Leader’s comments last night fell far short of the ironclad guarantee I needed to support a stopgap spending bill,” Harris said in a statement. She said that the government “made a promise to our Dreamers and it is long past time that we kept that promise.”

A deal looked likely going into the noon vote, after a number of moderate Democrats said that they planned to vote “Yes” after receiving assurances from McConnell on the “Dreamer” issue. On the Senate floor, senators from both parties smiled and laughed with one another — Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) with Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), or Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) with Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.). The display was a contrast to some of the rhetoric of the past few days, when it looked like divisions were hardening.

Some immigration and progressive groups expressed dismay that the Democrats did not demand an immediate vote on the Dreamers, and treated the “commitment” between McConnell and Schumer as just a three-week reprieve.

“Today’s cave by Senate Democrats — led by weak-kneed, right-of-center Democrats — is why people don’t believe the Democratic Party stands for anything,” said Stephanie Taylor, the co-founder of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee.

Others blasted Democrats for placing their trust in McConnell.

“We cannot rely on empty promises from those who have already proven to play politics with the lives of Dreamers,” said Lorella Praeli, director of immigration policy and campaigns at the American Civil Liberties Union.  “Today, Republicans — and too many Democrats — in Congress betrayed our American values and allowed bigotry and fear to prevail.”

After the vote, Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W. Va.) were part of a bipartisan group, called the “common sense coalition,” that had been meeting over the weekend to end the shutdown.

“In the end, I give our leaders a lot of credit for listening to the ideas that we put forward,” Collins said.

“They listened and that’s what moved it because we weren’t backing off,” Manchin said.

Trump crowed that the Democrats gave in, but the agreement between McConnell and Schumer sets up weeks of high-stakes negotiations where the president will have to determine what kind of deal he is willing to sign. Over the weekend, Schumer already expressed frustration over negotiating with Trump, saying that it is “like negotiating with Jell-O.”

Graham said that he would start to work on a more comprehensive solution on Monday, now that it looked like the government would reopen. Asked what role Trump should have in coming to a longer-term spending bill, he told reporters, “Be constructive, just be constructive.”

The past few days have seen a blame game over who was responsible for the shutdown. Trump referred to it as the “Schumer shutdown,” while Schumer himself noted often that it was the first time the federal government had closed when the executive and legislative branches were controlled by both parties.

The immediate impact of the shutdown was varied across federal agencies. Some closed to all but essential employees, while the FCC remained open, operating on reserve funding. A longer-term shutdown could have meant the FCC would have closed most of its operations. A protracted closure also could have forced federal courts to scale back operations as their reserve funding ran out.

More Politics


    Quality Control's Coach K Says Abortion Ban Has Already Impacted Business in Atlanta

    A who’s who of black entertainment and tech filled the Beverly Hilton Hotel ballroom on June 22 for the 4th annual Culture Creators Innovators and Leaders Awards brunch. Honorees included Byron Allen, who received the Icon Award; actress and executive producer Marsai Martin, who was named Innovator of the Year; and Quality Control Music founders [...]

  • Wyclef Jeans Warns Democrats: 'Trump Can

    Wyclef Jean Warns Democrats: 'Trump Can be Re-Elected'

    Wyclef Jean, the actor and rapper who performed the 2016 song “If I Was President,” is no stranger to politics, after trying to run for president of his native Haiti in 2010. At Cannes Lions, the annual advertising conference in the South of France, Jean talked about the future of music but his conversation with [...]

  • Hope Hicks

    Hope Hicks Refused to Answer Committee's Questions 155 Times

    Fox communications chief Hope Hicks refused to answer questions from the House Judiciary Committee on 155 separate occasions during closed-door testimony, the committee chairman said Thursday. The committee released a transcript of the hearing on Thursday afternoon. Prior to the hearing, President Trump directed Hicks not to answer questions about her service as a senior [...]

  • Hope Hicks

    Hope Hicks Gives Closed-Door Interview on Mueller Probe

    Hope Hicks appeared at the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday morning to give closed-door testimony on her involvement in the special counsel investigation of President Trump. The Fox communications chief was subpoenaed in May to provide documents and testimony that would aid in the committee’s investigation into obstruction of justice. After extensive negotiation, Hicks agreed [...]

  • Prince Mohammed bin Salman Abdulaziz al

    Saudi Crown Prince Should Be Investigated Over Khashoggi Killing, U.N. Report Says

    Mohammed bin Salman, the crown prince of Saudi Arabia, should be investigated in connection with the killing of Jamal Khashoggi because of “credible evidence” that the prince is among those liable for the dissident journalist’s death, a United Nations report said Wednesday. While no “smoking gun” has yet been found that directly incriminates the prince [...]

  • Sarah Huckabee Sanders Jemele Hill

    Sarah Huckabee Sanders to Leave the White House

    White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders is leaving her position at the end of the month, President Donald Trump said Thursday. In two tweets, Trump announced Sanders’ departure for her home state of Arkansas before thanking her for “a job well done.” He also recommended her for the Arkansas governor position, writing, “She is [...]

  • Kellyanne Conway

    Federal Watchdog Says Kellyanne Conway Should Step Down

    A federal watchdog has recommended that White House counselor Kellyanne Conway should be fired for repeated violations of the Hatch Act. In a report on Thursday, the U.S. Office of Special Counsel found that Conway had used TV appearances and social media platforms to disparage Democratic presidential candidates while speaking in her official capacity. “Ms. [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content