Early Monday, the Senate finally came to an agreement on funding for the government for the next few weeks, allowing it to re-open while they continue to hash out various details of the controversy that ever prompted it to shut down in the first place.
Democrats want protections for the hundreds of thousands of young undocumented immigrants who were brought here as children and have in the past been protected by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, while Republicans, as led by the president, continue to cast Democrats support for such protections as blind support for supposedly dangerous illegal immigration.
Throughout the whole ordeal of the first — and possibly not the last — government shutdown of the Trump administration, the White House has maintained that the Democrats were both fully responsible for the situation and had essentially no legitimacy to their position. The administration issued a ridiculous statement at one point calling Democrats “obstructionist losers.”
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders continued on with this rhetoric at the Monday White House press briefing, mocking Democrats for sticking to their positions to the point of letting the government shut down instead of blindly going along with Republicans.
A reporter asked her:
‘In addition to saying that negotiating with [Trump] is like negotiating with Jell-O, today [Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer] said that the great dealmaker sat on the sidelines. Was it a concerted effort on the president’s part to not reach out to him this weekend?’
Sanders responded by saying that “what the president did clearly worked,” seeing as the federal government is set to re-open on Tuesday.
As she put it:
‘I’m not sure what changed for [Schumer] and what he gained, other than maybe Nancy Pelosi taking a bunch of Republican members out for dinner to celebrate their shutdown. I’m not sure what other positive things came out of this weekend for Democrats.’
Sanders meant that Pelosi took out the Democrats out for dinner.
Besides her mistake — something borne out of the mindlessness with which she was mocking Democrats — she’s wrong about Democrats not getting anything out of the weekend of turmoil. Republican leadership promised to take up the issue of the DACA program within three weeks, and at the same time, funding was finally renewed for the Children’s Health Insurance Program, or CHIP, which Republicans had allowed to languish without funding for some time.
Even in the face of those concessions from Republican leadership, some Democratic U.S. Senators voted against re-opening the government without establishing continued protections for those provided for under DACA now.
Those Senators to do so include Kamala Harris, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and others.
The president, for his part, has not yet commented on the Senate coming to an agreement to reopen the government, although he did rant about the shutdown early Monday on Twitter.
He varied between the line that it’s all the Democrats’ fault and the line that it’s all the Democrats’ base’s fault.
Check out video of the Monday White House press conference below.
Featured Image via Screenshot from the Video