Senate Approves Three-Week Spending Bill After Democrats Cave on ‘Schumer Shutdown’

Schumer Shutdown
Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images/AFP

The Senate approved a three-week spending bill to fund the government for three weeks after Senate Democrats caved on the “Schumer Shutdown.”

The Senate passed the three-week spending bill, 81-18, that will fund the government until February 8. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) agreed to the stop-gap funding bill after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell gave him a “commitment” to vote on legislation that will address the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) illegal immigrants.

The short-term spending bill also funds the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) for six years, while delaying several Obamacare taxes, such as the “Cadillac” tax, the medical device tax, as well as the Health Insurance tax (HIT).

The Senate approved the motion on Monday afternoon to invoke cloture and end debate, 81-18, featuring overwhelming support.

Now that the Senate approved a different spending bill than the House-passed version, the House will have to agree to the slightly shorter spending bill for Congress to send it to President Donald Trump’s desk to sign.

One Senate Democrat source told reporters that Democrats were well aware of polling suggesting that Democrats will take the blame for shutting down the government to force a vote on amnesty for illegal immigration.

Schumer argued on the Senate floor on Monday:

We will vote today to reopen the government, to continue negotiating a global agreement, with the commitment that, if an agreement isn’t reached by February the 8th, the Senate will immediately proceed to consideration of legislation dealing with DACA. The process will be neutral and fair to all sides. We expect that a bipartisan bill on DACA will receive fair consideration and an up or down vote on the floor.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said on the Senate floor on Monday, “I think if we learned anything is that a strategy of shutting down the government over the issue of illegal immigration is something that the American people didn’t understand.”

Rep. Lou Barletta (R-PA), who is challenging Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) in the 2018 midterms, chided Casey for voting to put illegal immigrants ahead of Americans.

Barletta argued:

This government shutdown was always about putting illegal immigrants ahead of Americans, and Senator Casey just confirmed it. On Friday, Senator Casey voted to shut the government down and deny funding for our veterans, military, seniors, and health insurance for our children. Since then, none of the issues that Senator Casey said he cared about changed, other than the Senate agreed to hold a vote on DACA. Only when Casey got assurances that the Senate would vote on DACA, did Casey vote to re-open the government. And I’m sure Casey will again deny funding for Americans on February 8th if he doesn’t get what he wants for illegal immigrants.

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL), argued on Monday that amnesty for millions of illegal immigration is the “civil rights issue of our time.”