Democrats Poised To Accept Deal To End Shutdown

on January 17, 2018 in Washington, DC.
Alex Wong/Getty Images North America

This story was updated at 11:58 a.m. EST.

Senate Democrats are on the brink of accepting a deal to end the government shutdown in exchange for the promise of a vote on the DREAM Act in the coming weeks, three sources tell TPM.

The details of the deal aren’t yet clear. But multiple Democratic sources familiar with an ongoing meeting of Senate Democrats on the Hill made it clear that an agreement to reopen the government for a few weeks was all but certain late Monday morning.

“There’s a deal and the vote will likely have room to spare above 60,” one source familiar with the Senate Democrats’ meeting told TPM.

Another Democrat familiar with the meeting confirmed the deal, while a third said that while there wasn’t a “done deal yet” there was an “outline” of a deal that would likely pass when the Senate takes it up on Monday.

That deal is expected to get strong support from Democrats — including fierce immigration advocates like Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), the leading Senate advocate for so-called “DREAMers” whose vote would provide cover for other Democrats to support an agreement.

Most Democrats stonewalled reporters as they exited the meeting, unwilling to talk. But Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), one of the few who’d bucked his party with a vote to keep the government open last Friday night, said he thinks the shutdown will end Monday.

“It was very positive. I think the government will be back open by 12:10 or 12:15,” he said of the meeting.

It won’t be quite that quick — the House still needs to vote on it, assuming the Senate passes the measure set to hit the floor, and President Trump will need to sign it. But it appears likely that at least for the short term, the government will reopen on Monday.

Immigration advocates spent the morning rallying Democrats against the compromise deal with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) — and they weren’t happy when TPM told them the news during a late morning conference call. There is likely to be strong blowback from the base if the deal does go through, as appears almost certain.

“If there’s a deal obviously there’s a lot of concern about what the nature of the deal will be and whether there’s empty promises from Mitch McConnell… or whether there’s something that’s actually meaningful,” America’s Voice Executive Director Frank Sharry told TPM in response to the news.

“The Democrats need to stand strong,” Center for American Progress head Neera Tanden said.

The deal will likely set up another shutdown showdown in early February.

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