House Votes to End Government Shutdown

House Votes to End Government Shutdown

A short-term funding bill to end a three-day government shutdown passed the House Monday evening after getting a thumbs-up from the Senate earlier in the day.

The bill passed 266-150, with 45 Democrats joining Republicans in support of the measure.

Next, it will go to President Donald Trump’s desk to be signed. The continuing resolution will keep government operations running through February 8, fully fund the Children’s Health Insurance Program for six years, and suspend some Obamacare taxes.

Democrats in Congress, under pressure from immigration activists who wanted to see protections for 700,000 unauthorized immigrants who arrived in the United States as children enshrined in the must-pass spending bill, were split over whether to support the measure.

But enough of them rallied behind the bill to ensure its passage by a large margin in the Senate after Minority Leader Chuck Schumer announced Monday afternoon that he struck a deal with Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to advance a legislative DACA fix soon in exchange for support on the CR.

The stopgap funding bill passed 81-18 in the Senate.

Some Democrats such as California senator Kamala Harris and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi have expressed frustration with the conclusion of the shutdown showdown, arguing that they shouldn’t have taken McConnell at his word. Not to mention the fact that passage of an immigration bill is far from guaranteed: Democrats received no assurance from House Speaker Paul Ryan that he would bring a bipartisan Senate-passed DACA bill to the House floor in the future.

“I couldn’t vote for this CR because nothing in the bill gave me any confidence that in three weeks Congress won’t end up exactly where we are today,” New Jersey Democrat Bob Menendez tweeted.

Ryan has promised hardline conservatives in the House, however, that he would allow a vote on an immigration bill sponsored by Rep. Bob Goodlatte, but the legislation has slim chances in the Senate.

According to the CATO Institute, Goodlatte’s bill would cut legal immigration levels by 38 percent — 420,000 people — in 2019 alone, representing, if enacted, the biggest immigration reduction since the 1920s.

The CR will delay the inevitable immigration feud between the two chambers for another few weeks, but with the DACA expiration deadline approaching on March 5, Congress is running out of time to find a path forward.

In the meantime, after working through the weekend to end the government shutdown, members of Congress will return home to their districts for the rest of the week.

“I sincerely hope we never find ourselves in this position again,” Speaker Ryan said on the House floor before the spending bill’s passage.

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