The Senate voted to end the federal government shutdown 81-18 on its third day after Democrats agreed to a short-term funding deal and a promise from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to hold a subsequent vote on a bill to protect DACA recipients.
That said, given McConnell’s track record of keeping promises to get votes, several Democrats and their supporters viewed the vote as a defeat for the Democratic Party, who had insisted upon including protections for undocumented immigrants brought into the country as children alongside the bill. Trump had let the previous protections, DACA, expire last year, and had held up negotiations by insisting upon funding for the border wall with Mexico if DACA protections were included.
“Should these issues not be resolved by the time the funding bill before us expires on Feb. 8, so long as the government remains open, it would be my intention to take up legislation here in the Senate that would address DACA, border security and related issues as well as disaster relief,” McConnell said on Monday.
Among the “no” votes were members of the Democrats’ progressive wing, including Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Bernie Sanders of Vermont, Kamala Harris of California and Cory Booker of New Jersey.
Warren explained her vote in a scathing comment towards Republicans and potentially towards members of her party who supported the measure.
“It’s been over 100 days since protection for 800k Dreamers ended, since community health centers were funded, since hurricanes ravaged TX, FL & PR,” Warren tweeted after the vote. “The Republicans refused to fix any of these issues– and they still haven’t fixed them. We don’t need new promises. We need new laws.”
It’s been over 100 days since protection for 800k Dreamers ended, since community health centers were funded, since hurricanes ravaged TX, FL & PR. The Republicans refused to fix any of these issues– and they still haven't fixed them. We don't need new promises. We need new laws.
— Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) January 22, 2018
Harris also expressed her doubts about McConnell’s promise to hold debate and a vote on a true DREAM Act to protect DACA recipients.
“I don’t believe he made any commitment whatsoever and I believe it would be foolhardy to believe he made a commitment,” Harris said.
The short-term plan would keep the government open until February 8, and 33 Democrats voted in favor of it. The bill would also fund Children’s Health Insurance Program for the next six years.