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Progressives fume after vote to end government shutdown

Progressive lawmakers and activists are furious over the Senate's Monday vote to advance legislation to end the gover...

Posted: Jan 23, 2018 4:15 AM
Updated: Jan 23, 2018 4:15 AM

Progressive lawmakers and activists are furious over the Senate's Monday vote to advance legislation to end the government shutdown.

The 81-18 vote to advance a measure to extend government funding by three weeks came after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, pledged to take up immigration issues -- including the fate of so-called Dreamers thrown into limbo when President Donald Trump ended the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program -- by February 8.

Senators considering 2020 presidential bids voted against the plan

Senators up for re-election in 2018 in Trump states voted for it

How senators voted to end the government shutdown

Sen. Kamala Harris of California -- the first Senate Democrat to embrace the strategy of rejecting any bill that didn't include protections for DACA recipients -- said it was "foolhardy" to believe McConnell made "any commitment whatsoever."

"Listen, I'm disappointed with a conversation that suggests a false choice: You either fund the government or you take care of these DACA kids," Harris said. "We can do both."

The other three best-known expected 2020 contenders in the Senate -- Sens. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, Elizabeth Warren Massachusetts and Kirsten Gillibrand of New York -- joined Harris among the 18 "no" votes.

The other senator from California, Dianne Feinstein, also said she was "disappointed" with the deal.

In a Democratic caucus meeting, Feinstein complained that she had to vote to shut down the government Friday and asked why the same resolution couldn't have been reached by then, according to a source in the room.

Sen. Jeff Merkley of Oregon voiced objections to the deal, two sources said, raising concerns that the party was giving up too much and would lose support from progressive groups.

Merkley later met with progressive activists who were furious at Schumer and warned they would withhold funding from Democrats in key races, one source said.

"My concern with the three-week extension adopted today is that the Republican leadership will fail to negotiate for 15 of the next 17 days," Merkley said in a statement. "Leader McConnell's track record of keeping his 'commitments' is thin at best."

Democratic votes around the government shutdown have always split between progressives, many of whom are eyeing the 2020 presidential race, and more moderate lawmakers -- particularly the 10 Democrats up for re-election this year in states Trump won in 2016.

Four of those 10 -- Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, Claire McCaskill of Missouri and Joe Donnelly of Indiana -- joined new Sen. Doug Jones of Alabama in casting the five Democratic votes against the shutdown on Friday night and to reopen the government Monday.

Five more Democrats up for re-election this year in Trump-won states voted for the three-week measure Monday. Sen. Jon Tester of Montana was the only Democrat in a Trump-won state who didn't back the deal -- though he said his concern was funding for rural hospitals, rather than immigration.

One of those senators, Ohio's Sherrod Brown, said Democrats "got a good deal."

"McConnell made a pledge in front of the world," Brown said, adding that he is "counting on him" to carry through on his commitment.

But Democrats from bluer, often more diverse states, mindful that Trump set the Obama-era DACA program to end in early March, have supported a strategy of tying their votes for any government funding bill to a permanent solution that allows DACA recipients to remain in the United States. That strategy was overwhelmingly backed by pro-immigration groups and the party's base.

Progressive groups were incensed by the Senate's 81-18 vote Monday to reopen the government at the urging of Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-New York.

Asked to describe the left's reaction, Ben Wikler, MoveOn.org's Washington director, responded with one word: "Fury."

"Last week, I was moved to tears of joy when Democrats stood up and fought for progressive values and for Dreamers. Today, I am moved to tears of disappointment and anger that Democrats blinked," said Frank Sharry, executive director of the immigration advocacy group America's Voice.

Other Democratic groups warned that the vote Monday could undercut the party's hopes of taking control of Congress in this year's midterm elections.

"The big blue wave that Schumer hopes will make him Senate majority leader in 2019 will not build itself," said Ezra Levin, a co-executive director of the Indivisible Project, a group that emerged as an organizing hub of the anti-Trump progressive resistance. "Instead, Schumer led his caucus to surrender, demoralizing his base and ensuring more Dreamers will be deported before this is resolved."

"Today's cave by Senate Democrats -- led by weak-kneed, right-of-center Democrats -- is why people don't believe the Democratic Party stands for anything. These weak Democrats hurt the party brand for everyone and make it harder to elect Democrats everywhere in 2018," said Stephanie Taylor, the co-founder of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, which represents what it calls the "Elizabeth Warren wing" of the party.

"It's official: Chuck Schumer is the worst negotiator in Washington -- even worse than Trump," said CREDO political director Murshed Zaheed.

Zaheed said Schumer was "outmaneuvered" by McConnell and "failed Dreamers and let the entire Democratic Party down."

Progressives in the House responded similarly -- noting that House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, hasn't matched McConnell's commitments to advance immigration legislation.

Rep. Ro Khanna, D-California, said that without Ryan committing to support DACA and bring it to a vote by February 8, the deal is "meaningless."

"I have no confidence unless Ryan publicly commits to supporting and having a vote on DACA before Feb. 8th," Khanna said in a text message. "Without that commitment progressives around the country and the grassroots of our party will demand we keep fighting for the Dreamers and not settle for a cosmetic deal."

During a House Democratic Caucus meeting, Congressional Black Caucus Chairman Cedric Richmond of Louisiana blamed Schumer for making the whole debate about immigration, according to one Democrat in the meeting, saying about Senate Democrats, "They are getting their butts kicked."

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 473413

Reported Deaths: 9214
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison32339474
Hinds30703575
DeSoto29814346
Jackson23263336
Rankin21111358
Lee14600217
Madison14043265
Jones13165218
Forrest12953233
Lauderdale11418297
Lowndes10249175
Lamar10048128
Pearl River8737209
Lafayette8078136
Hancock7324111
Washington6837147
Oktibbeha6820118
Neshoba6404201
Monroe6372158
Warren6326161
Pontotoc610393
Panola6071124
Bolivar6016143
Marshall5972118
Union564086
Pike5491133
Lincoln5232130
Alcorn520888
George457868
Scott451993
Leflore4401140
Prentiss437276
Itawamba436198
Tippah436180
Simpson4268111
Copiah425586
Wayne424863
Tate4234100
Adams4219114
Yazoo415886
Sunflower4088104
Covington407391
Marion4032100
Leake393185
Coahoma388198
Newton364474
Grenada3517101
Stone345657
Tishomingo324888
Attala321185
Jasper310262
Winston300391
Clay288273
Chickasaw282164
Clarke277487
Calhoun259739
Holmes259485
Smith243947
Yalobusha216747
Tallahatchie215649
Walthall205557
Greene204045
Lawrence203831
Perry196453
Amite193751
Webster191941
Noxubee174538
Montgomery169853
Jefferson Davis165541
Carroll159937
Tunica148434
Benton139433
Kemper137439
Claiborne125634
Choctaw124925
Humphreys123337
Franklin115227
Quitman101825
Wilkinson99835
Jefferson86632
Sharkey62120
Issaquena1916
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 768301

Reported Deaths: 13209
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1093481727
Mobile699891179
Madison48418589
Baldwin35707452
Shelby35193291
Tuscaloosa33029512
Montgomery32582664
Lee21908204
Calhoun20140377
Morgan19351318
Etowah18583433
Marshall17272259
Houston16139353
St. Clair14956276
Limestone14129180
Cullman14069235
Elmore14010245
Lauderdale13128272
Talladega12399215
DeKalb11890229
Walker10231312
Autauga9493127
Blount9418149
Jackson9115136
Coffee8646161
Colbert8324169
Dale8284159
Escambia6456106
Tallapoosa6394168
Covington6313157
Chilton6243133
Russell591654
Franklin563597
Chambers5240132
Marion4628115
Dallas4626178
Clarke451471
Pike450091
Geneva4252106
Winston407987
Lawrence4046102
Bibb396177
Barbour338968
Marengo320981
Monroe311547
Butler309783
Pickens298769
Randolph294055
Henry293856
Hale286081
Cherokee279850
Fayette272271
Washington243545
Crenshaw232265
Clay221561
Macon214454
Cleburne209748
Lamar187839
Conecuh177139
Lowndes169056
Coosa163631
Wilcox154335
Bullock147142
Perry134235
Sumter123335
Greene119241
Choctaw72325
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