WASHINGTON – A bitterly-divided Congress hurtles toward a government shutdown this weekend in a partisan stare-down over demands by Democrats for a solution to protect about 700,000 younger immigrants from being deported.
Democrats in the Senate – led by New York Senator Chuck Schumer – have served notice they will filibuster a four-week, government-wide funding bill that passed the House Thursday night. The Democrats want congress to finally resolve the fate of immigrants who were brought here illegally as children but permitted to stay under the Obama era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which was rescinded by president Trump in September. Since then the future of those immigrants has been left up in the air.
Senate Republicans – who hold a slight majority – say that Democrats are holding the entire government hostage over demands to protect the so called “Dreamer” immigrants.
Meanwhile, Republicans in the House muscled the measure through last night on a mostly party-line 230-197.
Congressman Tom Reed (R-Corning, NY 23) was part of the Republican group to support the four-week extension.
“The vote tonight funds essential programs such as the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) for the next six years and ensures our brave men and women who serve in our military have the funding they need to perform their duties,” Reed said in a statement following the vote. “We cannot ignore our commitments. I call on our Senators on both sides of the aisle to support a sensible solution and ensure we keep the government up and running.”
In the event of a federal government shutdown, food inspections, federal law enforcement, airport security checks, and other vital services would continue, as would Social Security, other federal benefit programs and military operations. But federal workers wouldn’t be paid.