Assuming nothing goes (or has gone) off the rails by the time you read this, the government shutdown has ended with an agreement for a three week continuing resolution and a promise by Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. To the extent there was a deal done, the child health insurance program, CHIP, was extended for six years (something Republicans claimed they wanted done anyway).
The best case scenario is that a good immigration bill is passed in the Senate that deals with the Dreamers and Temporary Protected Status immigrants (TPS) humanely. It then goes to the House where Ryan and the Freedom Caucus (band name!) are forced to either pass the bill and piss off the white nationalist wing of the Republican Party or shutdown the government.
But there’s a problem: Sen. Mitch McConnell has to be an honest player here. I have doubts (boldface mine):
As I write this, all non-essential government services are closed and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is promising a vote on DACA if Democrats agree to a stopgap measure lasting until Feb. 8. He has scheduled a vote for noon on Monday. Of course they’ve been kicking this can down the road for months. McConnell promised the same thing in December and never delivered the DACA vote, but maybe he really means it this time.
The sticking points are a fix for DACA recipients, enhanced border security including the Trumpian border wall, newly introduced draconian restrictions on legal immigration and funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program. The DACA issue and the CHIP program basically involve young people and sick children being held as hostages by Republicans to get their extreme immigration policies enacted…
But let’s not pretend it’s all Trump and his courtiers. The Republican majority in Congress has been playing Russian roulette with the Dreamers for years now. They have blocked every single solution to the problem, and it’s irrational at this point to believe they are acting in good faith.
There is no reason to trust McConnell’s word: he lied about bringing Merrick Garland’s nomination to a vote, and he has lied repeatedly about DACA. Hell, he broke his word to senators in his own party (Flake and Collins) about DACA and healthcare. As Merkin Patriot put it (MP likes the ALL CAPS):
I hope I’m wrong–the expulsion of 800,000 people is in the balance–but I think, once again, the Democrats were played here.