Senate Democrats stated Thursday that they had sufficient votes to stiffle a GOP short-term budget deal — increasing the probability of a government shutdown as Friday’s midnight deadline loomed.
A senior Senate Democratic aide informed the Washington Post it was “almost certain” spending extension doesn’t have the votes to pass the upper chamber.
The Democrats need the bill to include aid for the Dreamers — immigrants brought here illegally as kids and who have been protected by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
But President Trump and immigration hardliners in Congress wish to take care of DACA at a later date.
With the 49-member Democratic caucus standing firm and a few Republican senators also opposing the short-term spending plan for varied reasons, its chances seem dim.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) must get a minimum of eleven Democratic votes to achieve the 60 needed to avoid a shutdown by the deadline.
“We should all plan to stay through this weekend if Senate Democrats follow through and are willing to shut down the government and the Children’s Health Insurance Program because they have yet to conclude a deal on DACA,” McConnell wrote in an e-mail to his caucus.
“This is an irresponsible position to take, as everything from pay for our military to processing Social Security checks will be affected. I hope not a single Republican is inclined to join them.”
Trump additionally threw a wrench into the negotiations Thursday morning by tweeting that the Children’s Health Insurance Program shouldn’t be a part of a short-term deal, placing him at odds with his own administration’s said policy.
Trump has insisted that if there’s a shutdown, Democrats would be responsible, despite the fact that the GOP controls Congress and the presidency.