The government shutdown is ending Yay?
Last Friday, Congress missed the midnight deadline to pass a continuing resolution to keep the federal government running through mid-February. Why? Not because shutdowns look good for lawmakers (they don’t). Because the budget negotiations didn’t include an immigration deal for Dreamers — undocumented people brought to the U.S. as children — Senate Democrats collectively said “nah,” and held out for a better deal.
Now, after a weekend full of negotiations, the shutdown is ending. So… what’s going on?
OK keep in mind, passing a federal budget proposal isn’t exactly like an ordinary person paying their bills. In addition to funding many sectors of government, the federal budget vote is an opportunity for politicians to cut deals on other types of legislation. Imagine, for example, that your parents say they’ll pay your college tuition next semester, but ONLY if you agree to get a haircut and throw away all your crop tops. It’s kind of like that.
But you can’t NOT pay your bills forever. It’s a bad look for everyone. And Democrats and Republicans alike were under pressure to cut a new deal before the public got too mad. And it turns out, all it took was three days this time to cut a new deal: enough funding to run the government through Feb 8th of this year, a multiyear funding deal for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (which BTW was already in the original budget) and a promise from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell that he will allow a vote on a major immigration proposal next month.
So what’s the fate of DACA? No one knows, but be prepared to relive this all over again next month.