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Shutdown ends after Trump signs bill reopening government

By The Associated Press

This article was originally published January 22, 2018 at 8:40 a.m. Updated January 22, 2018 at 8:14 p.m.

night-falls-on-the-us-capitol-on-second-day-of-the-federal-shutdown-as-lawmakers-negotiate-behind-closed-doors-in-washington-sunday-jan-21-2018-ap-photoj-scott-applewhite

Night falls on the U.S. Capitol on second day of the federal shutdown as lawmakers negotiate behind closed doors in Washington, Sunday, Jan. 21, 2018. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)


WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump signed a bill reopening the government late Monday, ending a 69-hour shutdown after Democrats reluctantly voted to temporarily pay for resumed operations. They relented in return for Republican assurances that the Senate will soon take up the plight of young immigrant "dreamers" and other contentious issues.

The vote set the stage for hundreds of thousands of federal workers to return Tuesday, cutting short what could have become a messy and costly impasse. The House approved the measure shortly after the Senate did, and President Donald Trump later signed it privately at the White House.

But by relenting, the Democrats prompted a backlash from immigration activists and liberal base supporters who wanted them to fight longer and harder for legislation to protect from deportation the 700,000 or so younger immigrants who were brought to the country as children and now are here illegally.

Democrats climbed onboard after two days of negotiations that ended with new assurances from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell that the Senate would consider immigration proposals in the coming weeks. But there were deep divides in the Democratic caucus over strategy, as red-state lawmakers fighting for their survival broke with progressives looking to satisfy liberals' and immigrants' demands.

Under the agreement, Democrats provided enough votes to pass the stopgap spending measure keeping the government open until Feb. 8. In return, McConnell agreed to resume negotiations over the future of the dreamers, border security, military spending and other budget debates. If those talks don't yield a deal in the next three weeks, the Republican promised to allow the Senate to debate an immigration proposal — even if it's one crafted by a bipartisan group and does not have the backing of the leadership and the White House, lawmakers said. McConnell had previously said he would bring a deal to a vote only if Trump supported it.

Sixty votes were needed to end the Democrats' filibuster, and the party's senators provided 33 of the 81 the measure got. Eighteen senators, including members of both parties, were opposed. Hours later the Senate passed the final bill by the same 81-18 vote, sending it to the House, which quickly voted its approval and sent the measure on to Trump. Both of Arkansas' Republicans senators backed the measure.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders predicted that operations would return to normal by Tuesday morning.

The plan doesn't tie the immigration vote to another piece of legislation, a tactic often used to build momentum. It also doesn't address support for an immigration plan in the House, where opposition to extending the protections for the dreamers is far stronger.

Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer lent his backing to the agreement during a speech on the chamber's floor. "Now there is a real pathway to get a bill on the floor and through the Senate," he said of legislation to halt any deportation efforts aimed at the younger immigrants.

The White House downplayed McConnell's commitment, and said Democrats caved under pressure. "They blinked," principal deputy press secretary Raj Shah told CNN. In a statement, Trump said he's open to immigration deal only if it is "good for our country."

Immigration activists and other groups harshly criticized the deal reached by the Democratic leadership.

Cristina Jimenez, executive director of United We Dream, said the members of the group are "outraged." She added that senators who voted Monday in favor of the deal "are not resisting Trump, they are enablers."

Other groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union expressed disappointment and shared similar criticism.

A block of liberal Democrats — some of them 2020 presidential hopefuls — stuck to their opposition. Sens. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Dianne Feinstein of California, Kirsten Gillibrand of New York and Cory Booker of New Jersey voted no, as did Independent Bernie Sanders of Vermont.

Feinstein said she wasn't persuaded by McConnell's assurances and did not know how a proposal to protect the more than 700,000 younger immigrants would fare in the House.

Democratic Sen. Jon Tester of Montana voted no on the procedural motion to re-open the government — the only no vote among 10 incumbent Democrats facing re-election this year in states won by Trump in 2016. Tester said in a statement that the 17-day budget did not include any funding for community health centers that are important to his rural state, nor did the deal include additional resources for border security.

The short-term funding measure includes a six-year reauthorization of the children's health insurance program, which provides coverage for millions of young people in families with modest incomes. It also includes $31 billion in tax cuts, including a delay in implementing a tax on medical devices.

The votes came as most government offices cut back drastically or even closed on Monday, as the major effects of the shutdown were first being felt with the beginning of the workweek.

The White House and GOP leaders said they would not negotiate with Democrats on immigration until the government was reopened, and White House officials boasted that Trump didn't reach out to any Democratic lawmakers during the shutdown.

On Monday, he accused Democrats of prioritizing services and security for noncitizens over U.S. citizens. "Not good," his first tweet said. In a second tweet, he said, "Democrats have shut down our government in the interests of their far left base. They don't want to do it but are powerless!"

However, his legislative affairs director, Marc Short, told CNN that the immigrants in question are law-abiding and "productive to our society." Short said the administration wants to "find a pathway for them" to stay in the U.S.

Although the Democrats initially dug in on a demand for an immigration deal, they had shifted to blaming the shutdown on the incompetence of Republicans and Trump. The Democrats seemed sensitive to being seen by voters as willing to tie up government operations to protect immigrants in the U.S. illegally.

In a private meeting, Schumer told his members that McConnell's pledge was the best deal they were going to get.

On the Senate floor, No. 2 Senate GOP leader John Cornyn of Texas said that for shutting down the government, the Democrats "got nothing." He added that even though McConnell promised to take up the immigration bill by February, "he was going to do that anyway."

While lawmakers feuded, signs of the shutdown were evident at national parks and in some federal agencies. Social Security and most other safety-net programs were unaffected by the lapse in federal spending authority. Critical government functions continued, with uniformed service members, health inspectors and law enforcement officers set to work without pay.

Read Tuesday's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.

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Comments on: Shutdown ends after Trump signs bill reopening government

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RBear says... January 22, 2018 at 9:24 a.m.

Well, it looks like Republicans are one again lying about their desire to work on domestic issues such as DACA and will probably kick the can down the road yet another time. This party will be painted as the least effective party at governing when it comes to the mid-terms. Projections are that Democrats are up 12 points against Republicans and 14 points among likely voters, a rarity.
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While Republicans like Cotton will attempt to paint this as gridlock by Democrats, the real message communicated leading into November was that this was avoidable if Republicans hadn't spent all their time debating things unpopular with the American public such as repeal of the ACA or the border wall.

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BOLTAR says... January 22, 2018 at 12:17 p.m.

The Senate has three weeks to work as adults, or the same thing can happen again. Let's hope rational minds prevail. Now let's see what happens in the House.

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abb says... January 22, 2018 at 12:33 p.m.

Ha ha. Schumer blinked. Looks like the red state democrats approached him and let him know that they are getting killed on his pedantic stunt. No one wants to be labeled as "for illegals, and against Americans"......except Progressives. LOL! Dems came out looking stupid on this one. Par for the course.

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wildblueyonder says... January 22, 2018 at 1:55 p.m.

Since when are ILLEGALS more important than legal citizens? The Dems will pay dearly for their latest stunt. The 'polls" meaning nothing when voters truly weigh the FACTS.

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RBear says... January 22, 2018 at 3:03 p.m.

I see the trolls are in full force with their stupidity. More extreme rhetoric with no real substance or context. Now let’s see of McConnell will stick to his promise to take up DACA in the coming weeks. Recent poll from Pew shows 74% of Americans support DACA and 60% oppose any wall. You tell me whose on the winning side of this discussion. It will be reflected at the mid-terms if Republicans don’t deliver on their promise.

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Packman says... January 22, 2018 at 3:12 p.m.

Hey Boltar - What was that you were saying about the shutdown being the R's fault? Based on this headline you look like an obstinate jerk now more than before. And that's a whole lot of obstinate jerk........
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The shutdown must have been polling much worse for D's than anyone ever expected. That's the ONLY reason they capitulated after less than 1/2 a business day of actual shutdown.
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This does not bode well for D's. Being blamed for a government shutdown once isn't good but if they cause a shutdown again, placing illegal aliens above the US military, they may lose not only the House and Senate this fall but the presidency in 2020 as well. So no, Boltar, it won't happen again because the D's lost this one and will lose again if they go down that particular road.

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GDB58 says... January 22, 2018 at 3:13 p.m.

Nothing like a Dumocrat

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PopMom says... January 22, 2018 at 4:29 p.m.

The Democrats caved because they understand the consequences of a shutdown. They had agreed to a deal with Trump last week, and then Trump reneged. John Kelly is getting tired of babysitting Trump and seeing him flipflop on issues. Look for a new Chief of Staff soon. Most people favor DACA. The polls show in the high 70s or low 80s. People who are here to work and do not commit crimes should have a path to citizenship. As a humanitarian issue, it is disgraceful to deport somebody who has only known living here and then has to go to some strange country of origin.

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PopMom says... January 22, 2018 at 4:33 p.m.

Packman,

As you only follow the ADG and Fox, you are unaware of what is going on in the rest of the country this week. We are subjected to reports about Trump's porn star mistress and the Gov. of Missouri blackmailing his ex lover. It is not a good week for Republicans. Yall enjoyed a little bump over the "tax reform," but soon reality will hit and there won't be enough money to run the government. The poor whites who voted for Trump are not going to like having their benefits cut.

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BOLTAR says... January 22, 2018 at 4:56 p.m.

It is cute that certain nameless trolls still fantasize they could spout something that matters to me. Apparently, they have a crush.

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