UPDATE: Grassroots organization Indivisible fires off a statement signaling big-time unhappiness with Democrats for approving this deal:
Its Senator Schumer’s job to keep his caucus together and fight for progressive values. He failed in that today.
Republicans have consistently negotiated in bad faith, demonstrating that they have no interest in actually protecting Dreamers. And for months, Democratic leadership has reassured Dreamers that Democrats would use all their leverage to get the Dream Act done. They caved in early September, but promised to use their leverage in early December. They caved in early December, but promised to use their leverage by the end of the year. They caved at the end of the year, but they promised to use their leverage in January. And now they caved again, but promised to use their leverage in February. Democrats clearly want to keep Dreamers as a talking point, but they need to grow a spine and actually fight for the Dream Act…
The big blue wave that Schumer hopes will make him Senate Majority Leader in 2019 will not build itself. This weekend, millions of Americans literally took to the streets. They weren’t asking their Senators to cave to Trump’s racist, xenophobic agenda. They were asking their Senators to fight. Instead, Schumer led his caucus to surrender, demoralizing his base and ensuring more Dreamers will be deported before this is resolved.
Senators Cory Gardner (left) and Michael Bennet
Politico reporting as the federal government gets set to reopen after shutting down briefly over the weekend:
In a dramatic turnaround, Senate Democrats voted to reopen the government on Monday after receiving a commitment from Republicans to hold a vote on immigration legislation — paving the way to end the three-day shutdown.
The Senate voted 81-18 to move forward on a bill to fund the government through Feb. 8 after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) agreed to end the shutdown and continue to negotiate on immigration and spending matters. If a broader deal is not reached by Feb. 8, the Senate would take up legislation to protect hundreds of thousands of young undocumented immigrants who are losing legal protections, as long as the government remains open.
“The process will be neutral and fair to all sides,” Schumer said. “We expect that a bipartisan bill on [the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program] will receive fair consideration and an up-or-down vote on the floor.”
Among Democrats holding their nose and voting in the affirmative was Sen. Michael Bennet of Colorado:
Meanwhile, Sen. Cory Gardner, who claimed last week that “I don’t want to play shutdown politics,” is (surprise!) playing the hell out of shutdown politics:
This government shutdown forced by Senate Democrats was dangerous and unnecessary. The bill we passed is the same bill Republicans initially proposed — including the longest reauthorization of CHIP in history — with one simple change: we are now funding the government through February 8th rather than February 16th. I wanted a bipartisan solution…
Liberal Democratic Senators are not happy with the state of play, says CNN:
“Listen, I’m disappointed with a conversation that suggests a false choice, you either fund the government or you take care of these DACA kids,” [Sen Kamala] Harris said. “We can do both.”
As for McConnell’s so-called commitment, Harris shot it down.
“I don’t believe he made any commitment whatsoever and I think it would be foolhardy to believe he made a commitment,” Harris said. [Pols emphasis]
According to a Democratic source, progressive senators are not happy with their colleagues who are voting for this deal, a sign of a deep divide in the caucus.
It’s difficult to characterize the agreement reached today as anything other than a Republican victory, albeit perhaps temporary depending on what happens in the next three weeks. As you can read above, progressive Democrats and base activists–especially, for obvious reasons, immigration reform activists–are skeptical in the extreme that Republicans will make good on their promise to hold an up-or-down vote on protections for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) beneficiaries. And even if such a vote is allowed in the Senate, there is absolutely zero guarantee that the House will follow suit.
As of today, Republicans have won the battle–but with a big promise to keep. If in three weeks that promise isn’t kept, the GOP base will chuckle along cynically, welcoming their bad faith against undocumented immigrants–and everyone else will be outraged. Whether that bad faith becomes a liability for Republicans already staring down the barrel of a Democratic wave election in 2018 remains to be seen, but we wouldn’t want it on our conscience.
For today though, sure thing! Team Blue will be proclaimed the losers on tonight’s cable news, and DACA kids left in the lurch will have to sweat it out–which of course most rank-and-file Republicans will be just fine with. Perhaps Rep. Mike Coffman can console them with another press release.
Congratulations, we guess.