Monday, September 28, 2020

There may still be hope for Congress

After countless meetings and finger-pointing, the three-day government shutdown seems to be coming to an end. Earlier today enough Senate Democrats joined Republicans to advance a three-week extension of funding in exchange for GOP assurances that Congress would take up a larger immigration bill in that time.

Schumer announced the agreement shortly ahead of the vote: “After several discussions, offers, counter-offers, the Republican leader and I have come to an arrangement. 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 funding measure will go to both chambers of congress where it is expected to pass later this afternoon. But the decision by Democrats to end the government shutdown has divided the party with some members saying they received enough assurance from McConnell and with others saying the party gave in.

The bill will extend government funding through February 8. It will also extend the low-income children’s health insurance program, CHIP, for six years and suspend some taxes under the Affordable Care Act. Despite the division this measured has caused,

Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., said Democrats got enough to satisfy them moving forward. “We got a path clear on how we’re going to get a full year budget and we got a path clear on who we’re going to start the immigration debate. I think that’s significant. That’s not what we had before.”

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Jacquelyn Martin/AP/REX/Shutterstock (9326751k)
Police tape marks a secured area of the Capitol, in Washington, as a bitterly-divided Congress hurtles toward a government shutdown this weekend
Budget Battle, Washington, USA – 19 Jan 2018