Dems agree to reopen the federal government – for 3 weeks, and without protection for ‘Dreamers’ – but Booker & Menendez vote no

 NJ ‘Dreamers Osvaldo Rodriguez (Red Bank, 26) & Piash Ahamed (Colonia, 27) were arrested after staging a protest inside U.S. Capitol 6 weeks ago. 


Sixteen members of the U.S. Senate Democratic Caucus voted against the cloture motion today on the CR to fund the federal government to reopen after a 3-day shutdown – but only till February 8th. Two of those senators were ours; both Booker and Menendez voted no. Included the list of no votes are several Democratic senators who may be eyeing a run for president in 2020; the aforementioned Booker, and Kirsten Gillibrand, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and Kamala Harris. Longtime senators Pat Leahy of Vermont, Ron Wyden of Oregon and Dianne Feinstein of California also voted no. The measure passed.

Before the vote, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell promised that the Senate would address the limbo 800,000 young ‘Dreamers’ face by to taking up an immigration bill “soon.” On the strength of that, Minority Leader struck a deal with McConnell.

So, while some of the Democrats tried to force the government to do right by these people, most of the Democrats caved. That means ‘Dreamers’ – including about 22,000 in New Jersey – are still in limbo, facing the loss of work permits and even sudden deportation. February 8th will come fast, there’s little reason to take Mitch McConnell at his word, and we might end up right back in the same situation with another shutdown in 3 weeks.  This is dead-on:

“Today’s cave by most Senate Democrats was not only a stunning display of moral and political cowardice, it was a strategically incoherent move that demonstrates precisely why so many believe the Democratic Party doesn’t stand for anything.

“A promise from known liars Mitch McConnell, Paul Ryan, or Donald Trump isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on, yet despite that fact, most Senate Democrats, including Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer, voted to allow Donald Trump to continue to subject an ever-growing number of Dreamers to lives threatened by deportation from the only home they’ve ever known.  That’s not what moral courage or leadership in the face of Trump’s hate looks like, and it sure as hell isn’t a display of competent negotiating skills.

“If you want to know why we lost in 2016 and why a Democratic wave in 2018 is far from guaranteed, despite the deep level of disgust for Donald Trump, look no further than this weak and profoundly disappointing cave from Senate Democrats.”
 — Charles Chamberlain, Executive Director, Democracy for America

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