Chuck Schumer: US Senate Reaches Deal to Pass Spending Bill

By Senate Democrats [CC BY 2.0] via Wikimedia Commons

Democrats have arrived at a deal with Republicans to end the shutdown of the government of the United States, ending a three-day halt in federal funding that was partially regarded as a blow to Donald Trump, the US President.

“After several discussions, offers and counteroffers, the Republican leader and I have come to an arrangement,” stated Chuck Schumer, the Senate Minority Leader. “We will vote today to reopen the government to continue negotiating a global agreement.”

The Senate voted 81-18 to advance a spending bill that is short-term in order to fund the government for another three weeks. The Senate should now vote on the bill before it continues to the House of Representatives.

“In a few hours, the government will reopen,” added Schumer. “We have a lot to do.”

Schumer, during a speech on the Senate floor, criticised Trump by saying that it was a group of 20 Democratic and Republican senators who hashed out a deal while the US President “sat on the sidelines.”

On Friday, the top Democrat had met with Trump at the White House to attempt to negotiate on an agreement.

“Since our meeting in the Oval Office on Friday, the president and I have not spoken, and the White House refused to engage in negotiations over the weekend,” said Schumer in a quiet chamber. “The great deal-making president sat on the sidelines.

“Despite and because of this frustration, I’ve been having conversations with the Republican leader over the weekend about a path forward.”

Earlier on Monday, Mitch McConnell, the Senate Majority Leader, promised to take up an immigration bill that will include protections for undocumented migrants who were brought to the United States as children – the so-called “dreamers.”

Schumer said that this pledge was enough for Democrats in order to agree to help end the shutdown of the US government.

If senators do not reach a deal on immigration by the 8th of February as part of a broader agreement regarding federal spending, the Senate will then take up a separate measure on immigration.

“The process will be neutral and fair to all sides,” said Schumer.

Last week, the House approved a bill to finance the government for four weeks – a measure that was rejected by the Senate, sending the government of the US into a shutdown at midnight last Friday.

The House is anticipated to vote in favour of the three-week spending measure that the Senate is set to approve on Monday afternoon.

The said votes will come following a weekend of finger-pointing between Democrats and Republicans over which party was responsible for the government shutdown.

The White House was at the forefront of the said blame game, with Trump posting on Twitter that Democrats “could have easily made a deal but decided to play Shutdown politics instead.”