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Senate votes to end government shutdown; House vote expected later today

Lawmakers reach agreement to vote on protecting 'dreamers'

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) walks from a Democratic caucus meeting during the third day of a shutdown of the federal government in on Capitol Hill in Washington January 22, 2018. (REUTERS/Joshua Roberts)
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) walks from a Democratic caucus meeting during the third day of a shutdown of the federal government in on Capitol Hill in Washington January 22, 2018. (REUTERS/Joshua Roberts)

WASHINGTON — The Senate on Monday voted to end the 2 1/2 day government shutdown after an agreement was reached to eventually allow a vote on protecting “Dreamers” from deportation.

The vote was 81-18.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said he had reached an agreement with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to fund the government through Feb. 8 and a guarantee that legislation to protect “Dreamers” will reach the floor if an agreement on a more comprehensive immigration bill is not reached before then.

The House now has to vote on the bill, but there is expectation that will happen.

Schumer said that if no immigration agreement is reached in three weeks, then the issue of “Dreamers,” the 800,000 undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children, will come to an up-or-down vote.

“It’s a shame...that the American people and the Senate have had to endure such hand wringing, finger pointing, stridency to secure a guarantee that we will finally move to address this urgent issue,” Schumer said. He blasted President Donald Trump for being on the “sidelines” over the weekend in resolving the shutdown.

“If we have learned anything during this process, it is that the strategy of shutting down the government over illegal immigration is something the American people do not understand,” McConnell said from the Senate floor.

The shutdown started at midnight on Saturday after the Senate failed to reach an agreement on a short-term funding bill.

California’s two senators, Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris, both Democrats, each voted against the funding bill to reopen the government.

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A deal looked likely going into the noon vote, after a number of moderate Democrats said that they planned to vote “Yes” after receiving assurances from McConnell on the “Dreamer” issue.

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