The official end to the three-day government shutdown came on Monday night after Senate Democrats voted to fund the government for three weeks in exchange for a promise of a future Senate vote on immigration. The compromise broke the standoff over the fate of Dreamers, undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children.
Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer announced earlier on Monday that his party would support the legislation – which funds the government through 8 February, while extending for six years a popular health insurance program, Chip, that provides coverage to 9 million children.
Democrats yielded after Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell promised to put an immigration bill on the floor in February to address the status of Dreamers, if no bipartisan deal could be reached by then.
The bill passed 81-18. Sixteen Democrats and two libertarian-minded Republicans voted against it. Among them were a number of potential Democratic presidential candidates in 2020 including Cory Booker, Kirsten Gillibrand, Kamala Harris, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.
The bill then went to the House which quickly passed it a vote of 266-150. A total of 45 Democrats voted in favor and six Republicans voted against. It must now be signed by Donald Trump before federal employees can go back to work.
As we reported earlier, the Senate was unable to adopt a law on state funding. Due to the termination of funding for government agencies in the United States, many museums and national parks have been temporarily closed, including the Statue of Liberty in New York.