Republicans And Democrats Can’t Even Reach Agreement On Things They Agree On
The only bill Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell brought to the floor was the temporary spending bill that passed in the House. And it didn’t pass. The final vote actually not in by the time the countdown clock got to zero because Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell didn’t vote, leaving the count suspended at 50-48. Past midnight, Senators are still on the floor, still talking. As long as they’re still talking, you can monitor it live on C-Span by clicking here or on the photo below.
Five Red State Democrats crossed over and voted with Republicans. 4 of them are up for reelection this year. They are: Sens. Joe Manchin (W.Va.), Joe Donnelly (Ind.), Heidi Heitkamp (N.D.) and Claire McCaskill (Mo.). Also, the newest Senator, Doug Jones of Alabama.
Four Republicans crossed over and voted with Democrats: Rand Paul (Ky.), Lindsey Graham (S.C.), Mike Lee (Utah) and Jeff Flake (Ariz.). John McCain (Ariz.), who is home getting treatment for brain cancer was not available for the vote.
The immediate issues involved:
- DACA, which both Republicans and Democrats (and the President) say they want, or at least will compromise on.
- Children’s Healthcare, or CHIP, which both Republicans and Democrats say they want.
Democrats, for a change, do show some backbone.
Trump meanwhile, in a Tweet, made it very clear he’s going to say Democrats are just doing this because they’re hysterical his tax cuts are going so well. The White House says it won’t even talk about DACA until the government is reopened.
How will this play out? That’s a big question, with not even a path to an answer right now.
- If Democrats can make the shutdown about dysfunction, and failure of Congress to do its basic job of passing a budget, they’re likely to win. And the self-described “master dealmaker” in the White House not being able or willing to make a deal. That’s why Red State Democrats like Jon Tester say: ““I think it’s a bad proposal, I’ll just tell you that, and it has nothing to do with DACA.”
- If Republicans can make the shutdown about Democrats denying healthcare for poor people (even though that’s a situation Republicans created), and supporting undocumented immigrants over keeping the government open, they’re likely to win. The Washington Post points out while the majority of Americans support an extension of DACA protections for undocumented immigrants who have been here since childhood, they do not support DACA as a reason to shut down the government.
The final vote tally could end up being very important. There should be at least 50 votes in favor. As we’ve pointed out, the President’s been pressing Mitch McConnell to change all votes in the Senate to simple majority. Right now, 60 votes are required to pass most legislation there (while the House is simple majority). So Trump and many Republicans are definitely going to turn up the heat on this issue, which they wouldn’t have been able to without Republicans scoring 50 votes.
What shuts down and when? Since this shutdown comes as something of a surprise, even that’s not clear. Since it’s the weekend, not much will happen immediately. Come Monday, a significant number of employees at most Cabinet departments will be furloughed. Except for active duty military and support staff, VA hospitals, Justice Department, Homeland Security and FAA who stay on duty and get paid.
We’ll see you Monday or before as events warrant…