On Friday, the government was forced to shut down after a short-term budgeting bill that would've kept the government running for 30 days without addressing immigration reform failed to pass in the Senate. Three days later, the House and Senate have passed a bill to fund the government through February 8, and the Children’s Health Insurance Program, which was facing a full cut, for six more years. The bill was signed into law by the president Monday night, meaning the government is effectively back on.
Many Democrats in the House and Senate had refused to vote on the previous bill issuing government funding without real legislation addressing the status of the Dreamers. Republicans, led by Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, used the brief moment of party strength to present Democrats as pitting CHIP against DACA, effectively holding nearly 9 million children's health insurance ransom. Now, CHIP's funding will continue, as will the government's, meaning federal employees will be paid again. In return, Democrats have been loosely promised further discussion surrounding immigration reform and DACA. But many who voted again restarting the government remain unconvinced that the McConnell guarantee actually means something.
“I refuse to put the lives of nearly 700,000 young people in the hands of someone who has repeatedly gone back on his word,” said Senator Kamala Harris, a Democrat from California who voted against tonight's bill, referring to the estimated number of Dreamers living in the country right now.
For almost three days, Democrats agreed.