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Senate votes to re-open government

The Senate voted today to end the three-day government shutdown, Republicans agreeing o advance a three-week extension of funding in exchange for GOP assurances that Congress would take up a larger immigration bill in that time. This measure was approved Monday in a 81 to 18 vote.

Pressure now sits on congress as they rush to reach a more permanent decision on the issue by February 8th.

“After several discussions, offers, counter-offers, the Republican leader and I have come to an arrangement," said Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer (NY). We will vote today to reopen the government to continue negotiating a global agreement, with the commitment that, if an agreement isn’t reached by February 8, the Senate will immediately proceed to consideration of legislation dealing with DACA.”

The New York Times reports this conclusion as the work of a bipartisan group made up of over 20 senators who discussed the plan Sunday night.

The proposed solution would give DACA recipients  a chance at legal status and a path to citizenship while restricting them from sponsoring their parents, eliminating the diversity visa lottery, and funding some border projects (Vox.com)

While the measure is predicted to pass the House with quick approval, the government can reopen once the president signs the funding into law.

Senate Democrats agreed to support the three-week budget extension of the federal budget, including the six-year extension of CHIP (Children’s Health Insurance Program) and with a promise of a vote on a bill to address the status of DACA recipients.

 

According to Vox, both parties haven't yet agreed on budget caps, putting a difficult limit on defense and domestic spending. Consequences such as across-the-board cuts to both departments may be a result of said spending bill not having budget caps.

Candidates from 2018 mid-term hopefuls showed critical of their leadership,  dissatisfied with such a short term place holder for government spending and leadership interaction.

"I canceled my flight back to Texas and spent the day on the phone and in person with dozens of colleagues from both sides of the aisle," said Congressmen Beto O'Rourke (D-El Paso). "There's no reason we shouldn't be able to sit down, work together, and hammer out an agreement -- one that keeps the government running with a long-term funding bill, one that protects Dreamers from the threat of deportation, and one that fully funds the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP)."

According to newsweek,  Partisan blame has led to Republican leaders pinning blame on Democrats and Democrats arguing that Republicans, who control both chambers of Congress and the White House, are at fault. Meanwhile, federal employees and key government agencies were affected by having workers essentially work for free or shut down entirely. According to the Washington Post, Federal contractors will see payments delayed, and the Internal Revenue Service will slow its preparations for the coming tax season.

"There is absolutely no reason why we can't get this done, and we don't have to wait for the Speaker, the Majority Leader or even the President to make it happen," said Rep. O'Rourke.

"If the leadership is lacking, we must lead by example."

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