Round one of the #TrumpShutdown appears to be over.
Today, majorities in each house of the United States Congress voted to reopen and fund the federal government through February 8th, 2018, as well as reauthorize the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) for another six years, after Senate Democrats reached understanding with Senate Republicans regarding the fate of DACA — the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals initiative.
“We will vote today to reopen the government, to continue negotiating a global agreement, with the commitment that, if an agreement is not reached by Feb 8th, the Senate will immediately proceed to consideration of legislation dealing with DACA. The process will be neutral & fair,” tweeted Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer of New York around midday Eastern time.
“I am confident that there are sixty votes in the Senate for a DACA deal. And now there is a real pathway to get a bill on the floor and through the Senate. It is a good solution and I will vote for it,” Schumer added.
“I expect [Mitch McConnell] to fulfill his commitment to the Senate & abide by this agreement. If he does not honor our agreement, he will have breached the trust of not only the Democratic Senators but the members of his own party as well.”
Two votes subsequently took place in the United States Senate: a cloture vote and a vote on final passage of an appropriations resolution. The vote counts on each motion were identical: the ayes were eighty-one and the nays eighteen.
The roll calls from the Pacific Northwest were as follows:
Question: On the Cloture Motion (Motion to Invoke Cloture: Motion to Concur in the House Amendment to the Senate Amendment to H.R. 195 with Further Amendment )
Question: On the Motion (Motion to Concur in the House Amendment to the Senate Amendment with Further Amendment )
Voting Aye: Democratic Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell (WA); Republican Senators Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan (AK), Mike Crapo and Jim Risch (ID), Steve Daines (MT)
Voting Nay: Democratic Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden (OR), Jon Tester (MT)
Both caucuses were divided on the aforementioned questions, although the Democrats were far more divided than the Republicans.
Two Republicans (Rand Paul of Kentucky and Mike Lee of Utah) joined sixteen Democrats in voting no. The remaining Democrats and Republicans voted aye.
Senator Patty Murray sent NPI a lengthy statement explaining her rationale for voting aye, which we’ll share in full considering the importance of today’s vote.
I am very glad that President Trump and Republican leaders have stepped back from the precipice and have ended their government shutdown and committed to allowing Democrats and Republicans to work together on legislation to address the many challenges facing the families we represent.
I know that there will be legitimate concerns and questions about the commitments that Republican leaders have made today. I share those concerns, and I am going to be watching Republican leaders’ actions over the coming weeks, not just their words — and I stand ready to hold this Republican Congress accountable for results.
I support this short-term agreement not because I blindly trust Republican leaders to deliver on their commitments, but because I believe this path offers us the best chance to reach a comprehensive deal to protect families and communities in this Republican Congress.
Republican leaders clearly understand that a majority of Democrats and Republicans support bipartisan solutions to the challenges in front of us, and they now realize that they can’t keep the government shut down in an attempt to stop that work from being done.
If Republican leaders renege on their commitment to work with us and to allow votes on the critical issues before us, they will shut down the government in just a few weeks and the pressure will be right back on them to work with us.
Democrats and Republicans agree that we should increase investments in health care, education, veterans’ care, and other domestic and defense priorities — and now that Republicans have ended their shutdown, we need to work together to get that done.
Democrats and Republicans agree that we should finally pass a long-term extension of the critical primary care programs that Republicans have allowed to expire months ago— and now that Republicans have ended their shutdown, we need to work together to get that done.
Democrats and Republicans agree that since the Trump Administration abruptly ended the DACA program last fall, we should finally pass legislation to protect our DREAMers who have known no home but America and who live in constant fear for their futures — and now that Republicans have ended their shutdown, we need to work together to get that done. Republican leaders have made a commitment on this, and I am going to be holding their feet to the fire.
There are bipartisan solutions to all of these challenges, and now that Republicans have stepped back from their completely unnecessary government shutdown and say they are ready to work with us on responsible solutions — we need to tackle them together, right now, without delay.
While spending the past year jamming through a legislative wish-list for the privileged and powerful, President Trump and his congressional allies have time and time again neglected the priorities of the American people. Funding for children’s health care and community health centers has lapsed; the opioid crisis has gone unaddressed; and hundreds of thousands of DREAMers have been left to live in limbo.
This unwillingness to govern reached a peak on Friday, when Trump and Republicans brought us the Trump Shutdown rather than reach a deal on these critical, bipartisan priorities.
I persistently argued that we should keep the government open while we negotiate, but that we need a shorter timeframe – one- to three-day increments – to hold Trump’s and McConnell’s feet to the fire. Unfortunately, the Senate Majority Leader struck down the continuing resolutions that would have accomplished this.
My concern with the three-week extension adopted today is that the Republican leadership will fail to negotiate for 15 of the next 17 days. Furthermore, Leader McConnell’s track record of keeping his ‘commitments’ is thin at best. For that reason, I voted no today.
I stand ready to work with all of my colleagues to make urgently-needed progress on these critical issues facing the American people. It’s past time that we governed ‘of, by and for the people,’ not just for the privileged and powerful.
After the Senate voted to reopen the federal government, the House voted to concur and send the legislation to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue for a signature. Two hundred and sixty-six members voted aye while one hundred and fifty voted nay.
As in the Senate, both caucuses were divided, although the margins were different. About three-fourths of the Democratic caucus voted nay, with the remainder voting aye. The Republican caucus had five nay votes.
Voting Aye: Democrats Suzan DelBene, Denny Heck, and Derek Kilmer (WA); Republicans Dan Newhouse, Cathy McMorris Rodgers, and Dave Reichert (WA), Greg Walden (OR), Don Young (AK), Raul Labrador and Mike Simpson (ID), Greg Gianforte (MT)
Voting Nay: Democrats Pramila Jayapal, Adam Smith, and Rick Larsen (WA), Earl Blumenauer, Pete DeFazio, Suzanne Bonamici, and Kurt Schrader (OR)
Not Voting: Republican Jame Herrera-Beutler (WA)
Here’s Representative Pramila Jayapal on why she voted no.
Today, I voted no on this most recent continuing resolution, the fifth since September. Let me be clear, these continuing resolutions are only necessary because of gross incompetence from Republicans who control the House, Senate and the White House.
Last Friday, the government shut down because, even though Republicans control all three branches of government, they simply cannot competently govern.
Now, the Republican Senate majority leader has given his word that he will address the many priorities necessary to come to agreement on a budget — such as community health centers, the opioid crisis and disaster relief. He also promised that he would bring forward a vote on a bipartisan deal that would protect Dreamers from deportation.
As much as I hope that the majority leader will keep his promise, Republicans have done nothing to convince me that we should trust them. On February 8, the American people will find out if Republicans can keep their word on the promises they made to get the votes for this fifth continuing resolution – or if they will once again refuse to govern competently. The American people will find out if Republicans have any interest in protecting Dreamers with a permanent solution and a pathway to citizenship.
I hope they do, but if they don’t, America will have a chance to make them face the consequences of their intransigence.
Let us also be clear that along with incompetence in governing, the Trump administration, Republican leadership and some members of their party have shown they will continue to use immigrants as scapegoats. President Trump himself created this crisis for 1.5 million young Dreamers who now face deportation from the only country they know and can claim as home. Republicans keep moving the goalposts and changing the negotiations. Now they want to add ending legal immigration and family reunification – cornerstones of our immigration policy for 50 years – into the mix. That is unacceptable.
Today, though, my heart breaks for Americans who rely on their community health centers but have no funding for them, for our communities ravaged by opioids, and for the people of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands who are literally dying as Republicans choose expedient politics over the challenge of effectively governing. And my heart breaks for our Dreamers who fear deportation. These brave young people are America, and Republicans are destroying their lives.
We will update this post with additional statements as they are received. Many members of Congress have yet to comment on the record regarding the rationale for their vote either for or against this continuing resolution.
The reception to the deal from well-known progressive organizations has been decidedly unfavorable so far. Here’s a roundup of reactions:
The New York Times’ Nate Cohn, on the other hand, tweeted that he thinks that Democrats may have played the best hand that they could, saying: “I appear to be the only person who thinks the Dems played this pretty well.”