McConnell has gotten Graham and Flake behind a proposal to move the expiration date for the continuing resolution up to February 8 and a promise to have the Senate vote on any and all immigration proposals if there is not a deal on DACA before the CR expires. He also said, subtly, that he’s not bringing up an immigration bill if there’s a government shutdown. This should put some more pressure on moderate Senate Democrats, since it is a guarantee to debate the DACA issue (although not a guarantee of an outcome). We’ll see how this latest proposal fares when there is a vote tomorrow; it will pass the House if it passes the Senate. If it fails, it sounds like McConnell is going to stick this out for a while. The Democrats have, naturally, gotten incredibly sympathetic press given that they forced a shutdown of the government, and there’s no predicting what Trump’s Twitter account may bring. But this shutdown really should be on them, and McConnell’s move cuts some more ground out from under Schumer.
Mr. President, I wanted to give my colleagues an update on where we are.
First, I would like to thank Senator Graham, Senator Flake, Senator Collins, and many others who have been working across the aisle to help resolve this impasse.
When the Democrat filibuster of the government funding bill ends, the serious, bipartisan negotiations that have been going on for months now to resolve our unfinished business — military spending; disaster relief; healthcare; immigration and border security — will continue.
It would be my intention to resolve these issues as quickly as possible so that we can move on to other business that is important to our country.
However, should these issues not be resolved by the time the funding bill before us expires on February 8, 2018, assuming that the government remains open, it would be my intention to proceed to legislation that would address DACA, border security, and related issues. It is also my intention to take up legislation regarding increased defense funding, disaster relief, and other important matters.
Importantly, when I proceed to the immigration debate, it will have an amendment process that is fair to all sides.
I would hope there would be cooperation on these matters in advance of yet another funding deadline. There is a bipartisan, bicameral group that will continue its negotiations, and I look forward to the completion of their work. It would be my strong preference for the Senate to consider a bipartisan, bicameral proposal that can be signed into law.
But the first step in any of this is reopening the government and preventing any further delay. The shutdown should stop today. And we’ll soon have a vote that will allow us to do that.
Let’s step back from the brink. Let’s stop victimizing the American people and get back to work on their behalf.