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.
WARNER & KAINE STATEMENT ON TODAY’S BIPARTISAN AGREEMENT TO REOPEN THE GOVERNMENT
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.”