Home Mark Warner Sens. Kaine, Warner Joint Statement on Vote to Reopen the Government

Sens. Kaine, Warner Joint Statement on Vote to Reopen the Government


The Senate just voted overwhelmingly (81-18) to reopen the federal government through February 8, with a commitment by Majority Leader McConnell to take up legislation dealing with the DREAMers. That’s obviously crucial, and I don’t trust McConnell as far as I can throw the slimeball, so let’s hope this isn’t like Lucy with the football.  I guess I mostly agree with Nate Cohn of the NY Times: “Here’s one way to think about it: are Dems better positioned now than on Thursday? I’d argue yes. Have a promise on DACA vote…If it passes, that’s good for Ds too. –No loss of leverage v. Thurs., since just 3 week CR. Can go shutdown route again.” Also, Paul Krugman’s take: “So as I understand it, Dems gave Trump 3 weeks in return for promise of a vote on DACA; also got 6 years of CHIP funding. I understand the concerns of immigration activists, but this doesn’t sound like a surrender, unless I’m missing something.” With that, here’s a statement from Senators Tim Kaine and Mark Warner.


WASHINGTON — Today, U.S. Sens. Mark Warner, a member of the Senate Finance and Budget Committees, and Tim Kaine, a member of the Senate Armed Services and Budget Committees, released this statement after voting for a bill that will end the shutdown and fund the government through February 8, following a bipartisan agreement to address critical national security and domestic priorities: 

“We voted against the House Republican Continuing Resolution on Friday night because it left unaddressed too many priorities important to Virginians. We remain deeply disappointed that our Republican colleagues refused to keep the government open this weekend while we finalized a long-term deal on these issues. President Trump and Republican leadership have hurt Virginia and our military by governing from crisis-to-crisis and being unwilling to compromise. 

“However, we are heartened by our work with more than 20 Senators from both sides of the aisle this weekend to create a bipartisan path forward to give Virginians long-term certainty and protect Dreamers. 

“As a result of those discussions, we now have a path forward to resolve many of the challenges that Congress has punted on for months, including a long-term solution to sequestration and full-year funding for our government and the military. Today we are reauthorizing the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) that tens of thousands of Virginians rely on – after months of Republican obstruction – and giving servicemembers and federal employees peace of mind that their paychecks will arrive on time. We also have the opportunity to finally make investments here at home to fight the opioid crisis, provide relief for communities hit by natural disasters, allow those who rely on community health centers to get care, reform pensions, and much more. 

“For more than three years, the Republican majority has blocked any viable effort to fix our broken immigration system. As recently as Friday night, Leader McConnell refused to commit to taking up the DREAM Act with any urgency. Today, Republican leadership has finally agreed to bring bipartisan legislation to protect Dreamers to the floor in the next three weeks, and both parties – as well as the American public – will hold them to it.”


Connolly Statement on McConnell Concessions on Three-Week Funding Bill

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Gerald E. Connolly (D-VA), released the following statement on Senator McConnell’s concessions on a three-week funding bill:

“It is shameful that President Trump and Republicans inflicted this shutdown on the American public. I will vote to reopen government because we have big challenges that our constituents demand we address like ending sequestration, fighting the opioid crisis, and fixing the DACA problem the President created. I will also vote yes because Senator McConnell pledged to finally allow us to address all those issues. His concession to our demands for action is a big victory for the Democrats and the American people.

“It is particularly telling that Republicans view the authorization of CHIP and the provision of healthcare for children as a concession to Democrats. The dysfunction unleashed by the Majority and the President must not be repeated in February. There is a bipartisan path forward if they are willing to take it. Now it’s incumbent on Republicans to work with Democrats.”

  • Esther Ferington

    CHIP has now passed for six years (assuming this goes through the House today and is signed by Trump). People act like CHIP was sheer “theater” but I’m never sure of that, so I’m glad that it is off the table. If this goes back to a shutdown, no CHIP in the equation.

    • woodrowfan

      I agree. They got CHIP, and have a chance to save DACA. No, I don’t trust any republican to keep their word, but now they can’t try to force the Democrats to make a choice in 3 weeks.

  • Video: Senator Mark Warner on Deal to Reopen Government https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cz40HPnoqlY

  • Harry

    Let’s see we have a commitment from Liar McConnell, nothing of note from Liar Ryan and nothing from President Miller, er, ah Trump. Mark/Tim, be prepared to be stabbed in the back by McConnell, Ryan and Miller. They have no integrity and you know when they are not telling the truth when they talk.

    • Bored George

      Exactly. So McConnell promised votes on DACA just like he promised votes on ACA stabilization to Collins of Maine. How’s that working out for her?

    • Paul Krugman’s take: “So as I understand it, Dems gave Trump 3 weeks in return for promise of a vote on DACA; also got 6 years of CHIP funding. I understand the concerns of immigration activists, but this doesn’t sound like a surrender, unless I’m missing something”

      Dan Pfeiffer’s take: “This is not the deal I would have taken, but this isn’t the end either. McConnell keeps his word or we are right back at it in a few weeks. So don’t panic and let’s get back to work pressuring GOPers (and Dems) to save the Dreamers.”

  • Andy Schmookler

    The Washington Post scores this as a win for Trump, and not good for Dems. I don’t believe it is wishful thinking on my part, but I see it otherwise. Three weeks in which deals will or won’t be kept, in which Trump will or won’t sabotage the deal, in which Ryan will or won’t waive the Hastert rule and allow a vote on immigration. At the end of which, if McConnell or Trump or Ryan have refused to allow an immigration deal to move forward, the shutdown option re-appears. It seems to me that either something will be accomplished, or the onus will be on the obstructionists– i.e. those who refuse to do what the great majority of the American people want done on DACA and other immigration reform issues..

  • RobertColgan

    I don’t trust any of these suckers. Including Warner and Kaine.
    They say one thing, do another.

    Too much of what they do tends to keep plutocracy right where it is, intact and well———-regardless how much they pay lip service homage to other issues.
    They basically rubberstamp military spending as if it’s simply a GIVEN that America needs to bankrupt its citizenry by maintaining imperialism.
    They rubberstamped spending for wars in the Mideast EVERY YEAR when it was known that WMD didn’t exist…..when it was known that the wars were ginned up, falsified, fake—–but sold to the public as “national defense.”

    Screw them. If they really want to restore faith in government———-they need to attack all those plutocratic entrenchments RELENTLESSLY !!!
    A 1.5 TRILLION gift to Trump and wealthy and corporate allies ?!?!?!?!? No biggie. We’ll just try to get them to give some money to some kids for healthcare to make it look okay.
    When >50% of Congress are in the 1% of wealthiest…..??? The citizenry (read: “99%”) has little chance of getting a fair shake.

    These people are insane. Sorry.
    I’m both tired and disgusted by the dog and pony show hypocrisy that has become normalized in US politics.

  • From Rep. Don Beyer:

    Beyer-Wittman Bipartisan Legislative Proposal To Protect Federal Workers’ Pay Passes In Wake Of Shutdown

    January 22, 2018 (Washington, D.C.) – Legislative language mirroring a bill offered by Reps. Don Beyer (D-VA) and Rob Wittman (R-VA) to protect the pay of federal workers during the government shutdown was passed by Congress today as part of a larger temporary funding bill. The inclusion of text of the Federal Employee Retroactive Pay Fairness Act will guarantee that the entire federal workforce receives back pay for the time during which appropriations lapsed.

    “It is deeply disappointing that Congress was unable to prevent a government shutdown, but the passage of the our bill’s language should at least minimize the damage to rank-and-file civil servants,” said Rep. Beyer. “I thank my colleague Rep. Wittman for standing up for the federal workforce again, and hope that this will be the last time that this bill is necessary.”

    Text of the Federal Employee Retroactive Pay Fairness Act was included in HR 195, which passed both chambers of Congress today. The bill had nearly 100 bipartisan cosponsors.

  • Perseus1986

    So here’s a question, did the Democratic “Nay” voters, Harris, Booker, Gillibrand, Feinstein, Warren, Sanders et. al, vote no knowing that the deal would pass, and just to build “cred” among their supporters, or would they have scuttled the deal if there was more opposition by some GOPers?

    Playing with a shutdown shouldn’t be the way Dems try to advance something as important as DACA. They should recognize that, unfortunately, we don’t have too strong of a hand right now, and using obstruction, especially in something like prolonging a shutdown, would quickly make them and their cause, however noble, the face of the shutdown. In a way, they would’ve become like Ted Cruz, only scoring points with their bases while discrediting the cause they are trying to advance.

    • Note that a bunch of the Dems who voted “nay” either are possible 2020 presidential candidates or, in the case of Sen. Feinstein, facing a primary challenge from their “left.”

    • JPRVS

      Ted Cruz and the GOP House Freedom Caucus succeeded in shutting down the government for almost two weeks in 2013. He failed to get the ACA repealed, but those actions probably helped to reduce GDP growth on the margins going into the mid-terms. Less than a year later the GOP expanded its majorities in the House. It won back control of the Senate. Even in a state like Virginia, where you might have assumed there would be a bigger backlash, Mark Warner nearly was knocked off by Ed Gillespie. The price for the GOP was nil, and may have even been a net benefit.

      The main leverage that the Dems have right now is the threat of a shutdown in the Senate. The House only comes into play when Ryan is unable to cobble together a majority within his own caucus. If the Dems were really playing hardball they would have done this back in September and forced McConnell to either abandon cloture rules or kill off the Trump tax scam bill. The Dems actually assisted the GOP in clearing the calendar, which made it possible to move forward with the tax bill. The GOP responded by creating a hostage with CHIP and DACA. You could add the mandate as another hostage the GOP has added along the way.

      Trump ended up getting a much needed boost in his favorability numbers too, which had plummeted post-Charlottesville. The bipartisan deal helped to resuscitate his approval ratings in the Fall.

      The GOP was going to deal on CHIP eventually. They had no choice. The issue is killing them at the state level, and the GOP still controls most state governments. The pain is not getting any less for them. This is also an issue that rates very highly with voters as one of the top issues right now (higher than DACA). You could even see this last week, when the GOP took notice of the special election results in Wisconsin, where they lost a race they shouldn’t have lost. CHIP funding was in the House bill, and the CBO scored it as a deficit reducer anyways. The Dems didn’t free a hostage, they basically threw the GOP a lifeline and reduced their leverage.

      I still hope there’s a resolution to DACA, but I don’t think that the Dreamers have been especially well served by the elected leadership of either party. I’m incredibly disappointed in both Kaine and Warner, but I’m not surprised either. I understand too that they have to balance the concerns of the federal workforce (and contractors), but I think they probably could have broke Trump simply by keeping him away from Mar-A-Lago for two consecutive weekends.

      • Perseus1986

        I think we would not have seen anything from Trump other than more “sh!#$%^” comments if he was at the table. Between his statements, and putting Stephen Miller (aka Richard Spencer’s BFF) as the pointman for negotiations, it is clear that his only interest in DACA is either killing it outright, or giving it in exchange for something reprehensible. Since before assuming office, his consistent policy has been to use every resource and opportunity available to him to disenfranchise immigrants (and non-whites in general). Dems would do better just to wait on court decisions on DACA than to think they could’ve worked something out with Trump.

  • From Rep. Donald McEachin:

    WASHINGTON – Congressman Donald McEachin (VA-04) issued this statement following the House of Representatives’ consideration of the legislation that would reopen the government:

    “I voted NO on today’s continuing resolution because while I appreciate Senator McConnell’s commitment to addressing immigration issues in the Senate, I am deeply troubled by the lack of a public commitment from House Republicans. American families need a real, long-term budget deal that solves the problems we face—not this seemingly endless series of short-term funding measures. We can and must protect DREAMers, permanently reauthorize CHIP (Children’s Health Insurance Program), and adequately fund community health centers and rural hospitals – as my bill, the Advancing Seniors and Kids Act, seeks to do. We must provide our service members with the resources they need, and address many other domestic issues. I am disturbed by my House Republican colleagues’ continued refusal to act on so many of these issues.

    “While am deeply dissatisfied with this deal, I do remain hopeful that both chambers can reach an agreement on legislation that will prioritize unmet needs in advance of the next funding deadline. With the clock reset, I urge Congressional Republicans to at last turn their attention to the issues they neglected for months in order to pass a tax bill that will raise the debt by $2 trillion on the backs of middle class families.

    “Every time Congress defaults to a continuing resolution, we do a huge disservice to American families and our dedicated service members. I urge congressional Republicans to bring a measure to the House floor that serves the interests of all Americans and meets families’ needs.”

  • John Farrell

    Kaine & Warner’s support for DACA kids is as empty as McConnell’s promises to take up a vote on DACA.

    Neither of their votes were necessary for the CR to pass. So why vote for it and give McConnell cover?

    These votes make Senate Ds look weak and vacillating.

    The Senators who voted against the CR today can be trusted to stand up for the Dreamers.

    First, Kaine & Warner throw DACA kids under the bus. Who’s next? Families seeking reunification like mine? Medicare recipients? Social Security recipients?

    If they were going to cave this easily, why bother with the shutdown at all?

    • Perseus1986

      The catch is that there was no deal to be had with DACA, not one that would be morally compromising and completely throwing another group under the bus. With Stephen Miller (please never call him Steve, such a disservice to the musician) in charge of immigration negotiations, things were bound to go nowhere. With GOP in charge of both houses and Trump with his white nationalist allies in the White House, the only deal on DACA would have been in exchange for something such as severe restrictions on family-based migration, guaranteeing deportation for previous TPS holders, or ending H1 A and B visas. This is actually the best possible scenario even though it looks terrible, CHIP is funded and off the table until (hopefully) there is a Democrat in the White House. The career Democratic Senators bit the bullet and made the deal to save DACA from becoming the face of the shutdown, as Ted Cruz and Obamacare repeal was for the previous one, while likely 2020 candidates were able to save face and vote against the deal, thus not compromising their momentum. It seemed like this was an understanding within the Senate, I watched the roll call vote and saw Booker vote No very late, then go back to having a cordial conversation with Chuck Schumer.