STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

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.

Confirmed Cases: 111322

Reported Deaths: 3202
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds7751171
DeSoto663677
Harrison481181
Jackson431978
Rankin380886
Madison371792
Lee341379
Forrest295177
Jones283182
Washington251497
Lafayette241742
Lauderdale2344130
Lamar214938
Bolivar198075
Oktibbeha194654
Neshoba1806111
Lowndes173962
Panola165136
Leflore160086
Sunflower157449
Warren152154
Monroe144872
Pontotoc143519
Pike136455
Lincoln134854
Copiah134636
Marshall132626
Scott123229
Coahoma123136
Grenada120137
Simpson118148
Yazoo117233
Union113925
Holmes113260
Tate112739
Leake112239
Itawamba109024
Pearl River108256
Adams104342
Prentiss101619
Wayne98521
Alcorn95512
George93517
Marion93242
Covington91625
Tippah85120
Newton84227
Chickasaw82024
Tallahatchie81825
Winston81521
Tishomingo79040
Hancock76927
Attala76525
Clarke71448
Clay67221
Jasper66616
Walthall63327
Calhoun60912
Noxubee59516
Smith58116
Claiborne53216
Montgomery52723
Tunica51817
Lawrence49514
Yalobusha48414
Perry48022
Carroll46012
Greene45317
Stone45014
Amite41513
Quitman4136
Humphreys39916
Jefferson Davis39411
Webster36513
Wilkinson32920
Kemper31815
Benton3054
Sharkey27714
Jefferson26310
Franklin2303
Choctaw2036
Issaquena1063
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 153016

Reported Deaths: 2633
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson22400372
Mobile14282314
Tuscaloosa9983132
Montgomery9691196
Madison899992
Shelby703560
Lee643966
Baldwin637567
Marshall426748
Calhoun410259
Etowah402049
Morgan394532
Houston363132
DeKalb316727
Elmore309552
St. Clair279742
Limestone269227
Walker268092
Talladega255034
Cullman225823
Lauderdale206340
Autauga199928
Franklin199131
Jackson199114
Colbert190627
Russell19023
Dallas185227
Blount183823
Chilton180531
Escambia170928
Covington164729
Coffee16409
Dale162551
Pike130212
Chambers127343
Tallapoosa127286
Clarke126716
Marion104229
Butler99840
Barbour9819
Marengo96721
Winston89913
Geneva8337
Pickens80317
Randolph79514
Lawrence79230
Bibb78913
Hale74529
Cherokee71514
Clay70712
Lowndes69927
Bullock63517
Henry6316
Monroe6279
Washington62112
Crenshaw59030
Perry5796
Wilcox55712
Conecuh55413
Fayette54712
Macon52919
Cleburne5247
Sumter46421
Lamar4575
Choctaw38612
Greene33316
Coosa1963
Out of AL00
Unassigned00
Tupelo
Broken Clouds
64° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 64°
Columbus
Clear
65° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 65°
Oxford
Clear
63° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 61°
Feels Like: 63°
Starkville
Overcast
59° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 59°
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather