Democrats Vote To End Gov’t Shutdown Based On A Promise By McConnell

Screengrab/PBS Newshour/YouTube

Democrats agreed after Majority Leader Mitch McConnell promised an immigration bill will reach the floor next month.

Ending a three-day deadlock, the Senate voted 81-18 late Monday morning to reopen the federal government, with Democrats agreeing based on a verbal promise by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell that an immigration bill will make it to the floor next month.

"After several discussions, offers and counteroffers, the Republican leader and I have come to an arrangement. We will vote today to reopen the government to continue negotiating a global agreement," Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said ahead of the vote.

The three-week funding bill still needs to pass on a final up-or-down vote, but that is a formality now that the Senate has voted to end dilatory debate. The House is expected to approve the bill quickly.

The Democrats' insistence that a provision for DACA be included in the stopgap spending measure was met with disappointment. Both Republicans and the president refused to negotiate on immigration during the shutdown.

Schumer said McConnell has committed that if negotiators fail to reach an immigration deal before the stopgap spending measure expires on Feb. 8, “the Senate will immediately proceed to consideration of legislation” to protect Dreamers.

He said McConnell has promised that immigration debate “will be neutral and fair to all sides.”

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