After days of deliberation and failure to deliver for America, Republicans have finally capitulated to Democrats in an 81-18 vote to continue funding the US government until February 8, 2018.
The deal, struck after Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer met with top Republicans including Mitch McConnell, includes 6 years of funding for CHIP, the children’s health insurance program that the GOP allowed to expire four months ago, and a guarantee of an up-or-down vote on DACA in the Senate as a standalone bill — the very outcome that Democrats had been trying to force to begin with.
Clearly, when Senators Jeff Flake and Lindsey Graham met with their Majority Leader a few days ago, they made good on their effort to get him to abandon Donald Trump on this issue, and simply work to move the country forward with a continuing resolution.
Although a CR does not service the fiscal budget in the long term, this short-term win for Democrats gives them the advantage both going into further negotiations down the road, and makes them look like the party that brought an end to the Washington stalemate that has disgusted Americans since the government shut down after a Friday night filled with failed talks, frantic blame-passing, and hyperbole from the Republicans.
If the GOP wasn’t worried yet about the upcoming midterm elections, they ought to start making plans now. Not only do they look incompetent to Americans for their failure to keep business running smoothly, even as the party in control of all three branches of the government, but they look weak to their base, who expected them to side with the white supremacist president’s advisers, who have been counseling him to shout down any deal Congress might strike.
Undoubtedly Donald Trump will tweet soon, casting this as a victory for himself and for the GOP, but it was Chuck Schumer and the Democrats who provided the votes necessary for this bill to pass, after Mitch McConnell couldn’t even muster a simple majority from his own caucus.
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