The federal government is on a glide path to reopening Tuesday after Senate Democrats largely joined their Republican colleagues to vote for a proposal that will fund the government through February 8 in exchange for a promise from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to turn to the DACA program in very short order.
The big winners are federal employees who can now return to work and the American public who see their elected officials actually working for them. Less fortunate are DACA recipients who remain in limbo as Congress kicked the can down the road until at least February 8. Permits issued for DACA, which gives a protected status to the children who were brought to the US by undocumented immigrants, but lived much or most of their lives in the US, will begin to expire in early March after President Donald Trump canceled the program last fall.
But, as always in this sort of high stakes — and high profile — game of chicken, there are a number of political consequences as well. Below, a look at some of the other less-than-obvious winners — and losers — in all of this.
* Mitch McConnell: The Senate majority leader refused to make a hard and fast promise to Democrats that they would get a vote on DACA. On Sunday night, he said it was his “intention” to bring up DACA. Democrats blanched, saying he hadn’t gone far enough to assure them of a vote. On Monday, hours before the vote to reopen the government, McConnell went to the Senate floor again and repeated his “intention” language. Despite that lack of change in McConnell’s position, Democrats came along — trusting that the majority leader would be good to his word. Which he might be! But, intending to do something isn’t the same thing as doing it. McConnell, ever the savvy negotiator, drew a line and refused to smudge it out even amid the blame game of the shutdown. And he won.