Trump Breaks His Silence On Government Shutdown
The government shutdown ended after three days and so did President Trump’s silence on the matter. On Monday night, he tweeted: “Big win for Republicans as Democrats cave on Shutdown. Now I want a big win for everyone, including Republicans, Democrats and DACA, but especially for our Great Military and Border Security. Should be able to get there. See you at the negotiating table!” after he signed short-term spending bill to fund the government through February 8. That day is also the deadline for Republicans to vote to preserve DACA. The White House has indicated that the President won’t support a DACA deal if it doesn’t resolve chain migration, the diversity visa lottery and border security.
The vote ended a government shutdown, which saw workers furloughed and some government services closed. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said that if Democrats “switched sides,” he would bring forth a permanent fix to DACA legislation within the next three weeks.
Trump continued, “I am pleased that Democrats in Congress have come to their senses and are now willing to fund our great military, border patrol, first responders and insurance for vulnerable children. As I’ve always said, once the government is funded my administration will work toward solving the problem of very unfair illegal immigration. We will make a long-term deal on immigration if, and only if, it’s good for our country.”
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, however, warned that “the Republican majority now has 17 days to prevent the DREAMers from being deported. If an agreement isn’t reached by February 8, the Senate will immediately proceed to consideration of legislation dealing with DACA. While this procedure will not satisfy everyone on both sides, it’s a way forward.” Schumer said he offered the president an authorization to build a border wall between the U.S. and Mexico in exchange for passing a funding measure with a DACA fix attached, but Trump refused.
McConnell explained: “I hope and intend that we can reach bipartisan solutions on issues such as military spending, immigration and border security, and disaster relief before this February 8 deadline. Should these issues not be resolved by the time the funding bill before us expires on February 8, so long as the government remains open it – so long as it remains open – it would be my intention to take up legislation here in the Senate that would address DACA, border security, and related issues.”
Democrats continued to battle perceptions that they had “caved” to Republican pressure, with Virginia Senators Tim Kaine and Mark Warner explaining, “As recently as Friday night, Leader McConnell refused to commit to taking up the DREAM Act with any urgency. Today, Republican leadership has finally agreed to bring bipartisan legislation to protect DREAMers to the floor in the next three weeks, and both parties – as well as the American public – will hold them to it.”
Highlighting the struggle for bipartisan agreement, the White House public comment line changed its voicemail message to the following on Sunday: “Unfortunately we cannot answer your call today because congressional Democrats are holding government funding – including funding for our troops and other national security priorities – hostage to an unrelated immigration debate.”