Senate advances bill to reopen government

Chuck Schumer speaks to reporters on Jan. 20 2018

Senate Democrats reluctantly voted in favor of the bill, relenting in return for Republican assurances that the Senate will soon take up the plight of young immigrant "dreamers" and other contentious issues. Last week, he told a bipartisan group of lawmakers that he would sign a bill that funded the government and protected the Dreamers if it included more money for border security.

Last year, Trump announced the end of the DACA programme, which protects undocumented children brought to the USA by their parents. Republicans have offered a six year funding extension of the popular Children's Health Insurance Program as part of their funding proposal.

The Republicans now have 51 senators, so they need some Democratic support to pass a budget.

"We will not negotiate on the status of unlawful immigrants while Senator Schumer and the Democrats hold the government for millions of Americans and our troops hostage", White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said.

The president's shifting positions have left Democrats exasperated.

"The president's focus is making sure we get the government reopened. These days, you never know who to deal with when it comes to the Republicans", Schumer said. Nothing has been agreed to, the lawmakers said, and there were no indications that leaders of either party or the White House was on board.

It forced Trump to cancel a weekend trip to his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida and created uncertainty around his scheduled trip this week to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Trump remained in regular contact with Republican leadership, aides said, but it wasn't clear whether he had reached out to any Democrats over the weekend.

Essential federal services and military activity are continuing, but even active-duty troops will not be paid until a deal is reached to reopen the USA government.

The Republican president has vacillated on what sort of legislation he supports and McConnell now seems willing to let the Senate craft a deal on legal protections for Dreamers and beefing up immigration enforcement at USA borders. "If there is a shutdown he won't go", one official said on condition of anonymity.

The White House downplayed McConnell's commitment, and said Democrats caved under pressure. The Republican president then rejected a bipartisan measure and negotiations stalled.

With the measure moving forward, it will now be hard for Democrats to argue they extracted many concessions from GOP leaders. "We must fight like hell to make sure that Senator McConnell keeps his promise". "Some of us struggle to trust him", Sen.

"President Trump is right".

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said Democrats agreed to back the bill reopening government after he and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell agreed to begin debating an immigration bill by February 8.

Both the Democratic and Republican leaders in the Senate said that they were continuing with their negotiations and short out their differences so as to end the government shutdown. It's ready. It's ready to be brought to the floor of the United States Senate.

Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., who faces a potentially competitive re-election this fall, sounded optimistic about the agreement.

Among those losing pay until the impasse is solved are more than 300,000 civilian defence workers. "What will it take for President Trump to say yes and learn how to execute the rudiments of government?"

Absent a breakthrough, the vote early Monday will prove to be a test of unity among Democrats, who have wagered shutting down the government to push the immigration question.

More on Trump's first yearWhat does a shutdown mean?

But Senate leaders have been wary of such a move in the past, as it could come back to haunt them the next time the other party holds a majority.

"They could easily have made a deal but chose to play shutdown politics instead", President Donald Trump said.

But a CNN survey released Friday that found 56 percent of polled voters believed that passing a budget to avoid a shutdown is more important than an agreement to help Dreamers.

Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., who is one of several Democrats up for re-election in states where Trump won in 2016, joined the talks. Susan Collins of ME on Sunday, a sticking point was over the date of when to hold the DACA vote: whether it would occur by the February 8 deadline of when the proposed continuing resolution would expire. Rand Paul, both Republicans.

The House still has to vote on the new legislation.

"So what has the Republican majority in the House and Senate done in the four and a half months since we received that challenge from President Trump?"

"I think they miscalculated on the shutdown". The White House on Saturday refused to negotiate on immigration issues until the government reopened.



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