Democratic leadership in the Senate has managed to draw water from the rock. The weekend-long filibuster that shut down the government succeeded in extracting concessions on the immigration issue from a hostile majority party and insane White House.
The Senate vote to reopen the government was finally confirmed after it became clear Democrats were going to continue to block the spending bill over what do about young people affected by DACA until Republicans agreed to grow a soul.
The Republicans did not intend to compromise at all on this issue, and right now they hold all the cards. But ultimately, they did.
That is a measure of victory.
The last shutdown happened in 2013 and lasted 16 days.
Nearly 800,000 federal employees were out of work without pay.
More than a million other working employees had their paychecks delayed.
According to estimates by the financial services company Standards & Poor’s, the last government shutdown cost America $24 billion, or $1.5 billion a day.
Democrats forced the shutdown with a heavy heart. We demanded a vote on legislation to protect Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipients from deportation after Trump unexpectedly cancelled the program. The final agreement involved a vote on the issue by February.
GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina appeared alongside GOP Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Jeff Flake of Arizona, and made the following statement. “Here’s what I predict. Once we start talking about immigration and voting on immigration, we’ll find 60 votes to make sure these DACA recipients’ lives are not ruined by March 5.”
Critically, we were also able to secure funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program(CHIP). Monday’s deal to end the shutdown included a six-year reauthorization of the program, which will go on without any children losing their health insurance.
Still, it’s important not to try and cast a light on this whole incident as a win for us. It wasn’t. There was never any path to a victory here.
Our Democratic leadership put their own necks on the chopping block and shut down the government for the sake of our Dreamers. They are now being raked over the coals from both angles, and that is just lousy.
They are national treasures, and we are very proud of them.
Going forward, we’ve got to raise awareness of how much we actually accomplished given the circumstances.
Democratic activist Sheila Jones wrote to us on the subject.
“The issue will not now be debated only behind closed doors in Congress. It will be decided in the public forum, and 87% of the public is for DACA. So we can wipe the floor with them.”
We’ve got to stick up for Chuck Schumer. And we’ve got to prepare ourselves to fight this whole battle again, in three weeks. See you in the trenches.