News and Commentary

CAVE: Democrats Abandon Shutdown, Agree To McConnell Plan In Exchange For … Nothing

Democrats caved to pressure to end the shutdown Monday and voted to reopen the federal government, having gained nothing from three days of hostage-holding over immigration reform.

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) confirmed the fold in a sad press conference held just following the vote.

According to The Hill, Democrats agreed to vote for Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s continuing resolution funding the government through early February, on the promise that Senate Republicans will take up an extension of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) sometime between now and February 8.

This means, of course, that Democrats, who held funding the federal government hostage by refusing to end a filibuster Friday night, thus causing the shutdown, gained absolutely nothing in two days of negotiations except a general promise on the part of the GOP to address border issues in the near future.

The Democrats’ plan was, apparently, to force Republicans to extend benefits for DACA recipients as part of a long-term funding bill. But when President Trump refused the “compromise immigration plan” drafted by Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer and his colleagues — largely over a provision that granted temporary amnesty to DACA parents — the plan seemed to break down. Even typically left-leaning media chastised the Democrats for their misstep and suggested that only Democrats would suffer from negative public opinion surrounding the government shutdown.

On Monday, shortly before the official announcement was made that Democrats were caving, one Senate aide told reporters that Democrats had “miscalculated beyond belief.”

Even those who defended the move did so half-heartedly, claiming that if McConnell reneges on his promise to push a DACA extension along with a more comprehensive immigration reform plan, that Democrats will ultimately win the fight. Schumer warned McConnell that he best live up to his end of the bargain in his concession speech.

But even hardcore activists didn’t seem to believe talk of a grander agenda. And McConnell has already said that if Schumer threatens a second shutdown, immigration will be off the table.

The House will vote on the bill to re-open the government sometime this afternoon. President Donald Trump is expected to sign the bill immediately, and the federal government will be funded for the next three weeks by close of business Monday evening.